By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com
What can you say about Tom Kotchman? He is a legendary manager, scout and practical joker. Around the Minor and Major Leagues, he is regarded as a treasure within the Angels’ organization. Everyone who has ever played for him has a “Kotchman” story—many of which they might not be able repeat, depending on the company.
Presently, he is the winningest coach in the Minor Leagues. Going into 2011, his record stood at 1623-1364 (.543). With the Owlz, it was 262-191 (.578) in the 6 years of their existence.
A dedicated family man, Kotchman speaks of his wife and kids with a passion and reverence that truly makes one proud. His son, Casey, was a former first-round draft pick and Major League player for the Angels. His daughter, Christal, was champion in softball. His wife, Susan, has recovered from the brain hemorrhage that she suffered in 2008.
As the manager of the Orem Owlz, it’s Kotchman’s job to take the newly drafted players and instill in them the Angels’ way of playing baseball. He takes the players where they are and teaches them how to succeed. Depending on the players’ age and prior program, that can be quite a challenge as he prepares them for the rigors of playing a full season of professional baseball.
Almost everyone playing in the Angels’ organization has learned something from Kotchman, whether it’s a fundamental skill or the way to mentally handle a slump. Kotchman does it all for the Owlz, from hitting fungos to throwing batting practice to lightening the mood on a long bus trip.
Yes, that’s Kotchman dragging the infield as his players watch on. It’s just his way of showing his team that there’s always time to be doing something on the baseball field.
Click below to listen to the interview AngelsWin.com recorded with manager Tom Kotchman. Per his request, this is an audio recording only.