Vogt is one of six family members who played college baseball. His father, Randy, played at Fresno State. And Stephen played against his brother, Danny, at Westmont College.
Two uncles played at UC-Davis and a cousin at Cal State-Stanislaus.
Stephen grew up a Giants fan in Visalia, Calif., making regular trips to Candlestick Park to see his heroes, Will Clark and Barry Bonds.
Vogt and his wife, Alyssa, have three children—daughter Payton, 7, and sons Clark, 4, and Bennett, 2. Vogt enjoys re-creating some of his childhood memories with his own trips to a classic tourist destination.
"It's definitely a cliche, but I just love the whole Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 scene," Stephen said. "There's a buzz there that's just so San Francisco. We take our kids over to Pier 39 and listen to the sea lion's barking. it's been pretty fun." (Giants Magazine - August, 2019)
Stephen and Allysa met during their sophomore year at Azusa Pacific University.
"I played basketball and he played baseball," Allysa said. "We met in a fundamentals of music class. We were friends at first, and then started dating our senior year.
"Our 4-year-old, Clark, is named after Will Clark, who was one of Stephen's favorite players growing up. Will was at the ballpark recently (Sept., 2019) and Stephen had a 5-minute conversation with Clark in the tunnel, with no one else around. It was such a cool experience. We told Clark, 'This is who we named you after.'" (Giants Mag - Sept., 2019)
In college, Vogt hit .448 for his four seasons at Azusa Pacific University in California. While there, he was teammates with Mets OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis. The school also produced former NFL running back Christian Okoye and decathlete Dave Johnson, known mostly for the infamous "Dan and Dave" Reebok commercials leading up to the 1992 Olympics.
In 2010, Stephen led the Florida State League in hitting (.345) and slugging (.511).
In 2010, Stephen was named as winner of the Rays organization's Erik Walker Community Champion Award, given every year to the minor leaguer who best displays teamwork, sportsmanship, and community involvement.
In the spring of 2011, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Vogt as the 30th-best prospect in the Rays organization. He was ranked #22 in the winter before 2012 spring training.
Vogt does an excellent imitation of Rays' manager Joe Maddon.
In 2012 spring training, Rays manager Joe Maddon was impressed with Vogt. "He has all those really nice qualities of a very good hitter," Maddon said. "His bat is very impressive and attractive. He's a good hitter against righties and lefties. He works a good at-bat and when he's at two strikes, he's not in trouble."
In 2012, Stephen was the winner of the Al Lopez Award, which is given to the top Rays rookie in spring training. Vogt, at age 27, made the Opening Day roster after hitting .323 with three RBIs, three doubles, and a triple in 15 spring games. (Editor's note: In April, he immediately went 0-for-25 before being sent to the minors.)
Vogt's first Major League hit was a home run against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 28, 2013.
In 2014, Vogt was named the recipient of the Jim "Catfish" Hunter Award, which annually honors an A's player whose competitive and inspirational spirit best reflects that of the late Hall of Fame pitcher.
"That's terrific," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "We probably have several candidates for it, but you certainly can't go wrong with Stephen. He really embodies the whole spirit of the award. For us, such a versatile guy, one of those grinders. He's out there wanting to win, no matter how you do it. Apropos that he got it."
That the award was voted on by his teammates and coaches made it that much more special for the always upbeat Vogt, who has started games at five different positions for the A's while carrying a .300 batting average following his June 1 call-up, despite battling multiple injuries.
"There are things you hear playing in this organization about Catfish, so to have your name mentioned with his is an honor all by itself," Vogt said. "But to have your teammates and coaches think of you in that regard, it's the highest honor you can have as a ballplayer."
Vogt's inspiring style of play was on display since he arrived in Oakland, where he made his A's debut in June, 2013 and, four months later, delivered the walk-off RBI single in Game 2 of the 2013 ALDS against Detroit.
"For me, the way my career has gone, it is an inspirational story for a lot of people," Vogt said. "For me, it's just my life. I haven't really thought of it as this huge inspirational story. But when I kind of look back on it, the way I kind of see it is for me, if one kid looks at Stephen Vogt and says, 'Wow, if that guy can play in the big leagues, I think I can,' that's kind of what you want." (Jane Lee - MLB.com - 9/20/2014)
Stephen and wife Alyssa, have two children: daughter, Payton; and son, Clark.
Because of their vagabond life, during the season their lives are stuffed into the space of about five plastic storage bins—shoes in one container, shirts in another, and pants in another. They limit the number of hand-me-down toys offered to them.
Here's Alyssa's story of the night Stephen proposed to her. He was on the baseball team and she was on the basketball team at Azusa Pacific University.
Following her team banquet during her senior season, Alyssa returned to her apartment with Stephen to get some homework done, though he had a different plan in mind.
Says Alyssa: "We walk into my apartment to see the entire living room cleared out. He had his teammates set up a zigzag path of rose petals and tealight candles with four art easels set up at the end of each turn of the walkway. There were a dozen roses underneath each easel and a picture on each easel. Stephen proceeded to explain why each picture was special and the moment that it represented in our relationship."
There was one final picture at the end of the walkway: "It was covered and surrounded by a semi-circle of candles and vases with roses," Alyssa remembers. "He told me to close my eyes, and I opened them to find a blown-up picture of the ring revealed and Stephen down on one knee. He proposed, I said yes, then he had an area set up as a dance floor on the other side of the room. We danced to Lonestar's "Amazed" and then sat down on the floor and reflected for about 45 minutes.
"Stephen had arranged for all of our friends to show up at my apartment and we immediately had an engagement party that night. Truly a romantic night I will remember forever." (Lee - mlb.com - 2/13/15)
He took drama in high school in Visalia, California, and loves theater. If he hadn’t made it to the Majors, his dream was to make it to Broadway. (mlb.com - 2/25/15)
Vogt has a veteran's understanding of the game, a newbie's drive to prove himself, and a born showman's flair for keeping thing's loose.
"I'm not the prototypical Major League player," Stephen admitted in 2015.
Growing up in Visalia, California, a Central Valley town, Vogt was practically invisible to college and pro scouts while playing at a little private high school of 300 students.
Stephen keeps guys loose with some of his antics. He cares about the team and the players around him. He is kind of like a model teammate. He takes his craft very seriously and is the kind of guy you want on your side.
To keep things light, Vogt impersonates coaches, or belts out a pop tune. He's a natural performer. He's always been quick to quote movies or TV shows.
"He loves to make people laugh," his wife, Alyssa says.
Vogt and his wife, Alyssa, are supporters of the School of Imagination in Dublin, Calif., where they've made multiple visits to work with special-needs children. He's also hosted them at the Coliseum on numerous occasions, bringing the children on the field during batting practice. Alyssa was a special ed teacher for a little while.
"They've blessed our lives just as much as I'm sure we've helped them," Vogt said. "We're just lucky we found such a good organization to work with. As a Major League baseball player, you have the responsibility to impact more lives than just your own. People look up to us, right or wrong, and I think we need to make sure we are enriching lives outside of baseball and making life count outside of baseball." (Lee - mlb.com - 9/14/15)
In 2015, Stephen was named the recipient of the Catfish Hunter Award, becoming the first player to take home the honor in consecutive years. Vogt joined Mark Ellis (2005, 2007) as the second player to twice win the award, which is described by the A's as recognition for a "player whose play on the field and conduct in the clubhouse best exemplifies the courageous, competitive and inspirational spirit demonstrated by the late Hall of Fame pitcher." (Lee -mlb.com - 9/25/15)
Stephen Vogt’s leadership skills mean as much to the A’s as his skills behind the plate. He’s a calming presence when a nerve-rattled pitcher finds trouble on the mound. If things spiral downward for his team, Vogt is the one who stands before the media and projects the confidence that better days are just around the corner. Those are inherited qualities, passed down from the man who stressed that playing the game right was as important as playing the game well.
Randy Vogt coached Stephen and his older brother Danny from the time they could pick up a bat all the way through high school. The values he imparted still resonate with Stephen, the A’s catcher who is coming off the first All-Star season of his major league career.
The primary lesson passed down from Randy was that “if you put every one of your teammates ahead of yourself, you will be successful,” Vogt said. “I’ve kind of played my career, lived my life that way. … All you can control is playing 100 percent for your teammates. That’s something he taught me from an early age.”
On January 26, 2016, he honored his father during CSN Bay Area’s “Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards” ceremony in San Francisco, an event that spotlights the most influential coaching figures in the lives of some of the Bay Area’s top athletes. Coaching Corps is an organization, founded by former A’s owner Wally Haas, that provides coaches and sports programs for kids living in underserved communities.
Randy Vogt recognized very early on Stephen’s passion for sports. When his older brother was playing T-ball, Stephen would drag equipment out to the family’s front lawn and stage his own game. He was only 3 or 4 at the time.
“After Danny went to school, my wife (Toni) said Stephen would go out, open the garage door, grab that bag and set helmets and bats up,” Randy said. “He’d get the plastic bases I had, put those out and play a phantom game. He’d pretend he was hitting, run around the bases, then get his glove and pretend he was pitching to the other team.”
As the years unfolded, that passion was reciprocated. Randy, who worked as a CPA near the family’s home in Visalia, would wake up at 3:00 a.m. and make the commute to his office, just so he could be home by 3:00 p.m. to coach his sons.
“Then he’d go to bed and do it all over again,” Vogt said. “It meant a lot to me and my brother -- maybe not enough at that time. But now, being a father, you see the sacrifices … his impact.”
Randy, a left-hander who pitched on the 1976 Fresno State baseball team, eventually became the head coach at Central Valley Christian High School. He said his biggest thrill coaching was when he got to pencil in Stephen as his freshman leadoff hitter, with Danny anchoring the lineup as a senior No. 3 hitter. Though the eldest Vogt drilled his players on the game’s fundamentals, the over-arching lesson was to respect the game properly.
“You’ll never have a coach that shows a love of the game and gets his players to respect and love the game (more),” Vogt said. “We had to have clean shoes, had to have our pants up. We definitely played the game the right way.”
Added Randy: “To me, sports is a microcosm of life. There are so many things in sports that are life lessons. You learn to be unselfish. You learn to play and work with others. The people I think are most successful are the ones who are unselfish.”
Such wisdom has stuck with Vogt through trying times in his career. He spent five full seasons in the minors before getting his first call-up with Tampa Bay at age 27. Then he opened with an 0-for-32 streak, the second-longest career-opening hitless streak by a non-pitcher since 1973. After being part of Oakland’s 2013 postseason run, Vogt received a jolt in spring 2014 when he was among the A’s final roster cuts before Opening Day. He couldn’t hide his emotion as he packed his belongings for the minors.
As always, Vogt drew strength from picking up the phone and calling his father, who reminded him he needed to work just as hard in Triple-A as he did in the Majors. A season later, Vogt’s parents were in the stands in Cincinnati as he played in his first All-Star Game.
“Nothing ever has come easy for me, I love that about it,” Vogt said. “If it wasn’t for the support of my family, guidance from my dad at an early age . . . It’s easy to get down on yourself when it’s not going right. At the end of the day, if it was easy, everyone would do it. Those are things he would constantly say.” (Joe Stiglich - CSNBayArea.com - A's Insider - Jan 2016)
June 3, 2016: Motivationally speaking, A's catcher Stephen Vogt has a knack for commanding attention in his own special, unique way. He does this by dressing in tacky clothes, stuffing a pillow in his shirt, hunching over and spewing out well-meaning but useless bits of advice designed only to confuse people. Meet motivational speaker Matt Foley, the alter-ego of the late comedian Chris Farley, who made the character famous years ago on "Saturday Night Live."
Vogt's spot-on impression of Foley made its way into the national conversation with a couple of appearances on MLB Network's "Intentional Talk," including one about a year ago when, in full Foley character, Vogt gave his best 15-second endorsement as to why he should be selected to the All-Star team.
After the season ended, Vogt won an award for the effort, receiving the MLB Esurance Award for the Best MLB Interview. He was presented his GIBBY Award on Saturday before the A's-Astros game at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
"It's really cool," Vogt said. "I'm obviously honored to be getting this award, but it's a lot of fun to show the fans that we're real people and we have other personalities than just being baseball players."
Foley is not the first impression Vogt has mastered. That credit goes to Vogt's comical imitation of a basketball referee, a routine so entertaining that it eventually netted him a bobblehead day in Oakland and prompted legions of fans to arrive to A's game in full ref gear and blow whistles at him.
The Foley fury began a couple of Spring Trainings ago, when the A's held an early-morning meeting to go over Major League Baseball's new pace-of-play rules, which included an edict for hitters to keep one foot inside the batter's box during an at-bat. Manager Bob Melvin asked Vogt for some assistance in getting the message across to the team. For that, Vogt turned to a guy who always commands attention—the thrice-divorced, living-in-a-van-down-by-the-river Foley.
"I had about an hour or so to put some stuff together," Vogt said. "I kind of rewrote the Matt Foley speech, but using the pace-of-play rules." Vogt considers that to be Foley's baseball coming out party. "I had done [the impression] before, in my previous life before baseball," Vogt said. "That's where I kind of showed Matt Foley to the baseball crowd."
By all accounts, the baseball crowd loves it, especially because it gives fans a chance to see a ballplayer in a different light, away from the field.
"For me, to be able to go on [Intentional Talk] two years in a row and sort of show different sides of my character and who I am and my personality, it's been a lot of fun for me," Vogt said. "I'm honored to take home the best interview GIBBY award." (A Footer - MLB.com - June 5, 2016)
Former teammates love the presence and leadership he provided when they shared a big league clubhouse.
"Stephen does such a good job behind the plate," said former teammate and Cubs pitcher Jon Lester prior to the 2016 All-Star Game. "I just think the leadership he provides behind the plate is his best asset. He does such a good job of controlling that pitching staff and really the team. Now, knowing that team and looking back, you can tell what he brings behind the plate."
"Vogt is one of the best teammates I've had," added Toronto's Josh Donaldson. "Always has a very positive outlook on things, and he's one of those guys who's really had to grind to get to where he's at today. For this being his second All-Star Game shows a lot of the work that he's put in. I'm very happy for Vogt for the simple fact that he's a great person, and he's really put a lot of work into what he's doing."
"Vogter's a life-giver to the clubhouse," said the Cubs' Ben Zobrist, who began the 2015 season with Oakland. "He's one of those guys that brings a positive attitude and brings some humor and some excitement every day to the clubhouse. And you're not just getting a good clubhouse guy with him, you're getting a great player. He brings the energy level of everybody up both on the field and off the field. You have to have at least two or three of those guys on every team. They don't list that as a position on the team, but it really is that important." (Lee - MLB.com - 7/11/16)
In March 2018, college basketball fever was in the air, and even baseball players knew it. While most are probably looking forward to the games Stephen is more excited about the men in black and white stripes.
Vogt has previously expressed his love for NBA referees, and he feels the same way about the March Madness officials as well. Stephen made a video that showed why, demonstrating their signals and emotions on mid-game calls. The tape shows that he has the basics down.
He just did the standard calls, thoughts; however, Vogt's knowledge runs even deeper, as he explained everything from a "block-and-one" call with emphatic gestures. Vogt already knows everything necessary to step onto the hardwood as an official as soon as this week. (Mearns - mlb.com - 3/13/18)
As a kid, Stephen's favorite player was Will Clark. So when he became a Giant in 2019, he got to see him on a regular basis.
"Getting to know Will and and chat with him has been very special," Vogt said. "He was my favorite player growing up, and he is a great guy."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy, a former big league catcher, see's something of himself in Vogt.
"He's one of those guys you look at and you say, 'He's going to manage one day,'" Bochy said in 2019. "You look at how he prepares and pays attention to detail, and you know he's going to be a good one."
Vogt's wife, Alyssa brags on how dedicated Stephen is to his family.
"He does just about everything for us in mind," Alyssa said, "On off-days, he'll wake up early with the kids and take them to breakfast, letting me sleep in. In the offseason he makes lunches before he takes the kids to school. He does as much as you'd have your spouse without even asking."
They met in college, and she says, Vogt was always a ham. He's drawn attention over the years where he mimics an NBA referee.
"He does that in Target," Alyssa said. "If you come out of an aisle, he'll call a charging foul. It's embarrassing!" (Dan Fost - Giants Magazine - July, 2019)
April 17, 2020: It’s somewhat of a cliché to pick a catcher, but Stephen Vogt seems to check all the boxes for a future manager. He is able to relate well to teammates from varied backgrounds, his communication skills are off the charts and he has a love and passion for the game. Before Spring Training games got under way, you could find Vogt in the early morning sitting in front of his locker with a group of teammates gathered around him talking baseball. After that day’s workout, the same group would assemble and break down what had happened. Pitchers talk about Vogt's ability to calm them down on the mound when things are starting to get away from them. Vogt’s father, Randy, has a coaching background too, so it runs in the family. (S Gilbert - MLB.com - April 17, 2020)
June 2007: The Rays chose Stephen in the 12th round, out of Azusa Pacific University in California. He signed for a bonus of $6,000, via scout Jake Wilson.
April 5, 2013: The A's sent a player to be named to the Rays, acquiring Vogt.
January 13, 2017: Stephen and the A's avoided arbitration agreeing on a one-year deal.
June 22, 2017: The A's designated Vogt for assignment.
June 25, 2017: The Brewers claimed Vogt off waivers from the A's.
Dec 1, 2017: The Brewers signed catcher Stephen Vogt to a one-year deal,
Nov 1, 2018: Vogt chose free agency.
Feb. 11, 2019: Vogt signed a minor league contract with the Giants.
Oct 31, 2019: Vogt chose free agency.
Nov 26, 2019: The D-backs signed free agent Vogt to a one-year deal for about $3 million in 2020.
- July 17, 2021: The Braves acquired Stephen Vogt from the Diamondbacks for Minor League first baseman Mason Berne.
|DOB:||11/1/1984||Agent:||All Bases Covered|
|Birth City:||Visalia, CA|
|Draft:||Rays #12 - 2007 - Out of Azusa Pacific Univ. (CA)|
- Vogt is a lefthanded hitter who has little trouble hitting lefthanded pitching.
Stephen uses the whole field to get singles and extra-base hits. He uses the entire field and has learned to drive the ball with his strong hands. It is hoped he will hit with enough power to be in the lineup most days.
Stephen provided the key blow in the eighth, delivering a go-ahead two-run triple to right. The triple was the 500th hit of Vogt's career, and he was emotional after he slid into third and looked at his teammates 20 feet away from him in the home dugout.
"I just love this game, and the 500 hits, I know it's not this huge milestone, but for somebody who didn't make the big leagues until he was 27 and kind of a late bloomer, it's a pretty special moment for me," Vogt said. "I never thought I'd get one big league hit, let alone 500. And for it to be a go-ahead two-RBI triple in the eighth inning at home ... it's the moment you dream of as a kid." (Gilbert - mlb.com - 5/2/2021)
- As of the start of the 2022 season, Vogt had a career batting average of .244 with 75 home runs and 290 RBI in 2,180 at-bats.
- Stephen has some athleticism and is versatile, seeing action behind the plate, at first base, and in the outfield.
- As a catcher, Vogt has a strong arm. He regularly gets pop times between 1.95 and 2.0 seconds.
In 2010, Vogt threw out 31 percent of Florida State League runners who were attempting to steal a base.
In 2011, he caught 30 percent of runners between Double-A and Triple-A combined.
In 2015, Stephen threw out 20 of 43, 32% of runners who tried to steal a base.
In 2016, he nabbed 28%, 20 of 71 potential base-thieves/
In 2017, Vogt caught only 7 of 46 runners—a poor 15%.
- Stephen works well with the pitching staff. He calls a good game. But he is a bit below average receiver.
- In left field, Vogt has good range.
- When the 2012 season ended, a friend (he declines to say who) cornered him and told him improve defensively if he were to have a chance to return to the Majors.
The big key, he said, was taking up yoga. “Yoga has tremendously helped my flexibility,” he said. “That’s such a big part of being a catcher: being able to move quickly, being able to block balls. The flexibility is really a big thing for me.”
Vogt used to play outfield and first base, but in 2017 for the Brewers, it was just catcher and DH.
Over the 2017-2018 offseason, Stephen joined a growing group of position players using weighted balls to improve his mechanics and arm strength. Some pitchers are known for employing the heavy rubber balls as part of their throwing programs, but some position players have found them helpful as well.
Vogt aims to reverse a process of decline that began several years ago, when he found himself rushing throws in the wake of some early-season stolen bases. Slowly, bad habits took hold, culminating in the 2017 season after the waiver wire took the two-time Oakland A's All-Star to the Brewers. Vogt threw out four of 31 baserunners with Milwaukee.
Vogt reaches in his locker for the bag containing his new toys. They are soft rubber balls in different colors and weights up to 2 kg, or about 14 times heavier than a standard five to 5 1/4 ounce baseball.
"What it does is, your body is not going to let you throw something heavier than a baseball incorrectly," Vogt said. "You are going to get your arm in the right spot. You are going to get back on line. It helps you build up your arm strength correctly."
Vogt picked them up in November. Vogt's arm feels "good and strong and back to where it was," but he'll need some live action to better judge whether the program worked.
"I don't know exactly what it's going to look like in the season, but I'm going to continue doing it in the spring and figure out how I want to implement it," Vogt said. "It's not for everybody. It's not like this is the answer. But for me, being a 33-year-old catcher, it's something that I believe has helped. If you stop working, you're going to be done." (McCalvy - mlb.com - 2/18/18)
- Stephen has below average speed.
April 2009: Vogt suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder and missed almost the entire season.
- July 2-12, 2012: Stephen was on the D.L.
April 10-May 12, 2014: Vogt was on the D.L. with a right ankle sprain.
May 2014: Vogt was battling a bone bruise and it worsened in June in Miami, where he finally revealed to the coaching staff the pain it causes when catching because of the particular positioning of his feet. He still very much feels it when pushing off, whether on the bases or in the field when going after a foul ball, but, "It is what it is," he said. It's the type of injury that won't go away without rest, and that won't come until the offseason.
"I'll just continue getting the treatment and avoiding things that will make it worse, like catching," he said. "I'd like to think that I can catch again this year if it's feeling better, because the pain's becoming more tolerable. But at this point, wherever I can help the team the most is where I want to be. Whether that's at first, or DHing, or outfielder, that's what I want to do. Obviously the inner catcher in me wants to catch, but we have two pretty good catchers." (8/11/14)
October 13, 2014: Stephen had surgery on his right foot. It was a procedure to repair a ruptured plantar plate, which kept him from catching down the stretch for the A's. The surgery was performed by orthopedist Dr. Kenneth Jung in Los Angeles.
January 28-July 26, 2016: Vogt underwent successful elbow surgery.
July 18-Aug 18, 2017: Stephen was on the DL with a sprained left knee.
Feb. 28, 2018: Vogt missed two to three weeks of Spring Training games with a strained right shoulder.
March 26, 2018: Vogt was on the DL with right shoulder strain. May 8, 2018: The tears that filled Stephen Vogt's eyes said more than any of his words. After an examination revealed damage to the capsule, rotator cuff and labrum in his ailing right shoulder.
May 2018 : Vogt underwent season-ending surgery to repair multiple structures in his right shoulder.
May 22-Oct 31, 2018: The [surgery] fix, Vogt said, was less invasive than the worst-case scenario Vogt originally had in mind, requiring a significant repair of the shoulder capsule but more minor "clean-ups" of the rotator cuff and labrum. He hopes to be healthy for Spring Training 2019. Vogt's surgery was performed by noted orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. Rather than rehab at home in Washington, Vogt opted to rejoin the team, and he'll stay with the Brewers as much as is feasible for the rest of the season.
- Sept 10-Oct 8, 2021: Voght was on the IL with right hip inflammation. Vogt was sidelined after feeling something pop in his right hip as he threw to third base during the seventh inning of the Sept. 9 win over the Nationals. He strained muscles around his right hip. An MRI showed no structural damage, but the veteran backup catcher will need to rest for at least a week.