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The Forgotten Brewers Series: Part IV

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This week’s forgotten Brewer is current advance scout and former pitching coach, Chris Bosio. Bosio started 163 games for Milwaukee from 1986-1992—eighth all time. During his time in America’s Dairyland, Bosio went 67-62, with a 3.76 ERA and 1.238 WHIP. He had a 17.9 (Baseball Reference) / 22.7 (FanGraphs) WAR over seven seasons. He also collected eight saves.

Born in Carmichael, California on April 3, 1963, Bosio was drafted by the Brewers in the second round of the 1982 amateur draft. The right-hander had many successful seasons with Milwaukee, achieving career bests in win-loss record in 1992 (16-6), ERA in 1989 (2.95) and WHIP in 1992 (1.154). The Brewers posted a .500 record or better in five of the seven seasons that Bosio spent with the club, including a 92-70 campaign in 1992.

Following the 1992 season, Bosio became a free agent and signed a four-year, $15.25 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. In just his fourth outing with the Mariners, Bosio threw the second no-hitter in Mariners franchise history. Bosio walked the first two batters and then retired 27 Red Sox batters in a row for the no-hitter. The final out in Bosio’s masterpiece came when shortstop Omar Vizquel bare-handed a bouncer up the middle to retire former Brewer teammate Ernie Riles.

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Bosio’s euphoria was short lived, however. In the game following his no-hitter, Bosio broke his collarbone in a collision with Cleveland’s Jeff Treadway while covering first base. He reinjured his collarbone in a brawl with the Baltimore Orioles a few months later. The fistfight with Baltimore started after Bosio threw behind two Oriole batters and the Orioles retaliated by hitting a Mariner batter.

Bosio never found the same success in Seattle that he had in Milwaukee but he did make the playoffs in 1995. Bosio started games one and four of the ALDS and earned two no decisions against the Yankees. He was the losing pitcher in game five of the ALCS against Cleveland. While with the Mariners, Bosio went 27-31 with a 4.43 ERA, 1.442 WHIP and 5.5/7.1 WAR over four seasons.

Bosio’s final game in the big leagues came in 1996. He bounced around in the minor leagues in 1997 and attempted to make the Red Sox in 1998 before retiring. The oft-injured pitcher (he had seven knee surgeries) was frequently praised for his baseball savvy so it was no surprise that Bosio quickly found work as a pitching coach. He coached in the Seattle organization from 2000 to 2002, before his former manager, Lou Piniella, hired him as his pitching coach in Tampa Bay in 2003. 

Following the ’03 season, Bosio and his family returned to the Appleton area so that they could be closer to his wife’s family. Bosio did not stay out of baseball for long, however. He coached at UW-Oshkosh and Lawrence University before a stint with Double A Chattanooga. Bosio returned to the Brewers organization in 2009 as pitching coach for Triple A Nashville. When Bill Castro was fired in August of that year as the Brewers pitching coach, Milwaukee replaced him with Bosio. The Brewers elected to hire a new pitching coach, Rick Peterson, for the 2010 season but hired Bosio as an advance scout. 

The oddest little tidbit I could find about Bosio was that in 1993 a drifter broke into his California home and lived there for a week before someone called police. The drifter was arrested but upon being freed on bail, returned to Bosio’s home and stole more of his belongings.

Chris Bosio, you are no longer forgotten.