"I loved my time at Linfield, but I like new challenges also and as the kids were growing up and getting out of the house, I just felt like if there was time to do it," Brosius said.
Twenty years ago, Scott Brosius was the MVP of the 1998 World Series, hitting .471 with two homers in the New York Yankees’ four-game sweep of the San Diego Padres.
These days, you will find Brosius coaching third base for the Mariners.
His journey back to the big leagues, from his heady days with the Yankees, when he was part of three world title teams to coaching with the Mariners, included nearly 15 years about as far as possible from the majors in a small Oregon town about an hour southwest of Portland.
Not that Brosius, who was an All-Star in 1998 and a Gold Glove winner at third base in 1999, would change a thing.
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Brosius had a very productive 2001 season with the Yankees at age 35, and it seemed he could play several more seasons. But he retired after 11 big-league seasons to be with his family full time in McMinnville, Ore., where both Scott and his wife, Jennifer, went to college at Linfield, an NCAA Division III school.
In 2002, Brosius began working as an assistant baseball coach at Linfield under his former coach, Scott Carnahan. In 2008, he took over as head coach, leading Linfield to the 2013 national title and back to the finals in 2014.
But with the last of his three children finishing high school, Brosius decided it was time for a job change after the 2015 Linfield season.
“I wish I was that smart to have my life planned out like that, but it wasn’t the plan,” Brosius, 52, said. “Just like when I was done playing, I don’t know if I came home with a specific plan to end up back at Linfield. I loved my time at Linfield, but I like new challenges also and as the kids were growing up and getting out of the house, I just felt like if there was time to do it, this was going to be the time because I wasn’t getting any younger.”
Leaving Linfield after nearly 15 years was difficult.
“It was not an easy decision, for sure,” said Brosius, who grew up in Milwaukie, Ore. “My ties with Linfield are very deep – both as a player and a coach there. A lot of great memories, so it was not an easy decision. McMinnville’s our home, and it changed our lifestyle dramatically.”
Even though he was enjoying coaching Linfield, Brosius said the thought of getting back into the big leagues “was a little gnaw in my head that became bigger and bigger, and it was just something that I wanted to do.”
After quitting at Linfield, Brosius went searching for a job, and got one from the Mariners in 2016 as the hitting coach for the Class AAA Tacoma Rainiers. He moved to the big-league club last year as an assistant coach, working with the hitters, and became the third-base coach this season.
“I’ve liked stuff about each,” Brosius said of the three different jobs the past three seasons. “I enjoyed my time in Tacoma, but I knew the big-league staff was where I wanted to get to. I really enjoyed last year working with the hitters, but I really missed in-game responsibilities. So this year, being at third base, I’ve enjoyed the decision-making out there.”
Three years removed from his decision to change jobs, Brosius said, “I am very glad I did.” And is the end goal to be a major-league manager? Not necessarily.
“I take things as they come,” he said. “I know that doesn’t seem very well thought out. When I went to coach at Linfield that wasn’t my ultimate goal, but I just fell in love with it. I kind of take it the same way here. It may be that I love third base, and don’t want to leave coaching third base. I just want to take it year by year.
“I’m continuing to do something I love. For me, that’s the most important thing. I love baseball. Baseball is all I wanted to do from the time I was 4 or 5 years old. For me, it’s hard to imagine working outside of baseball. I come home after being at the ballpark for 10 or 12 hours, and I turn on a ballgame.”