Mike Macfarlane

This article was written by Bob LeMoine


Mike Macfarlane“I’m average. I’ve always been that,” Mike Macfarlane humbly said of himself as his career was winding down. “But I’ve got 12 years of major-league experience and I work hard.”1 Most of us would gladly have taken such an “average” career like his: 13 years as one of the most respected players in the game, a catcher who guided pitchers, provided power when needed, mentored young catchers, and was both an inspiring presence in the locker room and a role model for the fans. His .992 fielding percentage ranked him 57th all-time among catchers as of 2018. “A quiet and dependable leader,” was how Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star described Macfarlane. “A player who knew the game and how to play it correctly. He didn’t complain. He didn’t point fingers, and he didn’t hesitate to help others. He went out of his way to sign autographs. He helped numerous charities. He never got in trouble with the law, and he not once referred to himself in the third person.”2

Not a flashy player by any stretch, Macfarlane was a hard worker who overcame obstacles and made it to the major leagues, but never forgot to be grateful for every opportunity. “The Mike Macfarlanes of this world do not play in All-Star Games,” wrote Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe. “They do not spend hours agonizing over exactly what to say when they’re inducted into the Hall of Fame. They are guys who are just good enough to play and who are thankful for the opportunity. They constitute the backbone of sport. A successful team needs its share of All-Stars, and it also needs its happy and willing next-door-neighbor types. Mike Macfarlane is the guy who lends you his ladder.”3 His attitude represented all that is good about the game and endeared him to the fans. “I like playing on grass. I like getting dirty. I like playing hard for three hours each night, knowing I’ve given my all. I even like waking up in the morning, stiff as a board, my knee not functioning, knowing I’m going to go back out there that night and do it all over again.”4

Michael Andrew Macfarlane was born to John and Marlene (Boggiano) Macfarlane on April 12, 1964, in Stockton, California. John was a US Navy veteran who coached (football, baseball) and taught at Lincoln High School from 1961 to 1975, and coached Babe Ruth, American Legion, and Little League baseball squads. Mike was a standout baseball catcher at Lincoln. He was named to the All San Joaquin Athletic Association and co-MVP of the league his senior year, in which he batted .422 and threw out 14 of 16 attempted basestealers. He was quoted in his high-school yearbook: “We had a lot of players returning from last years [sic] team and we had many quality players come up from the sophomore squad of a year ago. This was one of the factors that made us successful.”5 Macfarlane was also selected to the California State High School All-Star Team along with Randy Johnson and Barry Bonds. His brother Pat played football and baseball at Lincoln, Delta College, and the University of the Pacific.

Mike received a scholarship to Santa Clara University, where he was the starting catcher for three years. As of 2018, he ranked fifth in total home runs (28) and 10th in doubles (47) and total bases (323), and held several single-season records.

Macfarlane was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round of the June 1985 amateur draft. He was assigned to Memphis, Kansas City’s affiliate in the Double-A Southern League. He batted .269 with 8 home runs and 39 RBIs in 65 games. After the season he caught 30 games in the Florida Instructional League. What neither Macfarlane nor his coaches took into consideration was that including the fall and spring seasons at Santa Clara, Macfarlane had already caught over 100 games. Being young, he didn’t consider the toll this was taking on his right shoulder. “I liked to show off because I had a good arm,” he said. “I was the type of player who liked to gun every throw,” he said, which included not just basestealers but even throwing the ball during warm-ups.6

The overwork caught up to Macfarlane during the Instructional League. He blew out his arm and had to been seen by Dr. Frank Jobe, the orthopedic surgeon, in February of 1986. “Everything is disfigured in there,” Jobe said. “It’s one of the worst I’ve seen.”7 Macfarlane’s rotator cuff was literally sawed in half by a fragmented ligament. His shoulder socket was twice the normal size, and he was told he had to stay out of baseball for at least a year and not catch for two. But using a three-pound weight to strengthen the socket and tossing a roll of tape for 15 minutes every other day, just to do some type of throwing, he kept his arm in shape. “I was just feeling like I was half a player at that point,” he said. “I’d always prided myself on being a good defensive catcher, and then my arm is taken away.”8

His shoulder improved more quickly than anticipated, and Macfarlane was back in Memphis in June, playing exclusively as a DH. “I told myself I’d worked too hard my whole life to shut it down.”9 In 40 games he batted .241 with an astounding 12 home runs, given all the obstacles he had gone through. The Royals also tweaked his throwing motion from a short-arm throw to a full motion, to alleviate the stress on his shoulder.

In March of 1987, Mike married Kathleen Rosenthal, who had also attended Santa Clara. “Part of our honeymoon was driving to Florida for spring training and playing catch with her,” Macfarlane remembered. “She was a girlie-girl and we’d go to a high-school field in Texas or Louisiana, driving across those states. Our first marital spat was how bad her soft toss was,” he joked.10 Macfarlane was soon sent to the minor-league camp. He was promoted to Triple-A Omaha, where he gradually worked himself back into being a regular catcher. He caught 76 games and his offensive numbers (.262/13/50) with a .324 OBP put him on the radar for Kansas City. He celebrated a memorable 23rd birthday with a six-RBI game including a grand slam in a victory over Nashville.11

Kansas City needed help in late July when Jamie Quirk went on the disabled list. Macfarlane served as the backup to Larry Owen. He made his major-league debut on July 23 as a late-inning defensive replacement in a 2-1 loss to Baltimore. He started the next day and went 0-for-4 against Baltimore, then got his first major-league hit off Dave Schmidt the following day. Macfarlane finished batting .211 in eight games.

Macfarlane was impressive during the spring of 1988 and won a catching job on the Kansas City roster, splitting time with Quirk. He was the Royals’ Opening Day catcher on April 4 in a 5-3 loss to Toronto. He went 2-for-4 with two doubles, and continued his hot hitting in April, batting .378 by the end of the month. He hit his first major-league home run on May 21 against Cleveland’s Scott Bailes. His batting numbers came back to earth, and he batted in the .260s to .270s for June and July. Macfarlane was surprised when manager John Wathan decided to make a change, calling up Owen from Omaha and demoting Macfarlane. The reason was defense. Owen had thrown out 24 of 53 basestealers (45.3 percent) while Macfarlane had thrown out only 14 of 45 (24 percent).12 Macfarlane didn’t think the numbers justified a demotion. “The arm is in great shape,” he said. “I was very happy with the way I was throwing the ball. The reasons they gave me for sending me down are not valid in my mind, but what can I do about it?”13 But the demotion gave Macfarlane time to refocus. “It really woke me up to the business of baseball,” he said. “I don’t know who was behind it or what the reasoning was, but that really refocused my attention on catching.”14 He played in 21 games at Omaha, batting .237. Owen threw out 35 percent of basestealers in his 37 games in Kansas City, and then retired. Quirk’s success (27 percent) was still lower than the league average (31 percent). The Royals finished third (84-77). In mid-August Macfarlane suffered ligament damage in his right hand making a tag and was lost for the remainder of the season.15

On the surface, it seemed Macfarlane had another huge obstacle to overcome for the 1989 season. The Royals were still hesitant to hand him the starting catcher’s job and instead they signed 41-year-old Bob Boone, who would spend the final two seasons of his 19-year career in Kansas City. But instead of this being a setback, since it limited Macfarlane’s playing time, it was a chance for the young catcher to pick the brain of a catching legend who as of 2018 was third all-time in games caught (2,225). Macfarlane would often be seen after games chatting with Boone, whom he dubbed “Yoda,” with Mike asking questions about game situations. “I’ve been keeping a notebook on everything he has told me,” Macfarlane said. “I’m having a ball with Mike,” Boone said. “He wants to learn it all. I get such a kick out of seeing him improve from last year.” Macfarlane learned valuable lessons from Boone, such as the main task of a catcher being to set up batters to fail. “It’s knowing your own pitching staff, calling the right pitches, setting up hitters and watching them fail,” Macfarlane said. “(Boone) was amazing in the way he could manage a game behind the plate. He knew what he needed from the pitcher and how he wanted to work the hitters, but at the same time, he also was in the opposing manager’s head and everybody else’s, too.”16

Macfarlane batted .223 in 69 games in 1989, 59 of them backing up Boone behind the plate. He made the most of his opportunities, throwing out 41 percent of would-be basestealers, 10 percentage points higher than the league average. The Royals had a strong 92-70 season but still finished a distant second behind Oakland.

In 1990 the Royals had their worst record (75-86) since 1970 (discounting the 1981 strike-shortened season), but it was a breakthrough year for Macfarlane. Boone was injured and played in only 40 games. Macfarlane finally became the Royals’ starting catcher. He batted .255 with 6 home runs and 58 RBIs in 124 games. His range factor per game, a calculation of assists and putouts divided by games played (6.10), ranked fifth in the league for catchers. He would finish fourth or fifth in that category three more times from 1991 to 1994. However, he allowed 68 stolen bases and threw out only 17 percent of would-be basestealers. He had more work to do in spring training 1991, but now the starting job was his as Boone had retired.

Macfarlane was having his best season in 1991, batting .273 with 13 home runs and 39 RBIs and had thrown out 17 of 38 trying to steal by July 15 when an injury sidelined him for two months. It happened on a play at the plate when he locked legs with Toronto’s Joe Carter and tore a ligament in his left knee.17 “Finally I’m hitting my stride and now this,” a discouraged Macfarlane said. “It was a freaky play. I’m angry in the sense that he didn’t slide, where a slide can avoid the whole situation. I’m angry in that regard. I’m angry that it happened to me, I’m angry that it had to happen, period. It felt like someone jabbed me with a hot poker in there [knee].” He did not return until mid-September, and batted .357 the rest of the season.18 His caught-stealing percentage was 44.7 percent, third in the AL.

Macfarlane spent the winter strengthening his knee, but still struggled defensively early in 1992. He allowed four passed balls and made three errors by early May, and had thrown out just 27 percent of basestealers. “I certainly don’t feel as comfortable as I did last year,” Macfarlane admitted as he saw the Royals depending on a catching platoon of Brent Mayne and Bob Melvin.19 He batted around .200 for much of the season, but hit .271 from August on with 11 home runs, giving him 17 for the year with a .234 batting average. The Royals were 72-90. Macfarlane was also one to “take one for the team,” as he led the league in being hit by a pitch, a feat he would repeat in 1994 and finished near the top three other times. He avoided arbitration in the offseason and signed a one-year contract with the Royals for $1.175 million for 1993.20

Macfarlane began the 1993 season platooning with Mayne, batting mostly against left-handers, but those plans of manager Hal McRae changed when Macfarlane batted .338 with six home runs in May. His hitting pace kept up for much of the season; he had the best offensive season of his career (.273/20/67) and threw out 53 would-be basestealers, or 43 percent, fourth in the AL. Runners still tested his arm, however, and he was third in stolen bases allowed (70). He also helped a rejuvenated Royals team (84-78) to a third-place finish. Macfarlane avoided arbitration in the offseason and signed a one-year deal with the Royals for $2.6 million.

Macfarlane started well in 1994, batting .276 with seven home runs through the end of May before he fell into a terrible June slump in which he batted a meager .192. He broke out in a big way as July began, hitting .533 in a four-game series against Toronto, and provided his own fireworks on the Fourth with two home runs. Macfarlane swatted his 14th home run on August 9 in a 5-3 extra-inning win at Anaheim and the Royals were contenders for the AL Central Division title. But the players strike began two days later, and the rest of the season and the World Series were canceled. Macfarlane, who was now a popular Royal with fans and a clubhouse leader of his teammates, was an unrestricted free agent and the Royals chose not to re-sign him.

The Boston Red Sox, looking for a reliable catcher, signed Macfarlane to a one-year contract for $1.5 million with a club option for 1996. “This was my first choice, coming here,” Macfarlane said. “I’ve always enjoyed Boston and I love (Fenway Park) and everything about the organization.”21 In May he hit seven home runs, including a walkoff against the Yankees on Mother’s Day, May 14, with his wife, Kristine, son, Austin, and daughter, Megan, looking on. The family saw some scary moments earlier in the day as they watched him get drilled with a pitch, get hit in the jaw with a bat, and throw the ball into center field trying to throw out a runner. “Yeah, I guess I was right in the thick of everything, but that’s why you’re a catcher,” he said. “All the action is back there.”22 Macfarlane batted .225 overall — .300 against lefties with eight home runs. Against right-handers he hit seven home runs but had a much poorer .201 average. He led the league with 26 passed balls, although 13 of them were due to trying to zig and zag in catching Tim Wakefield’s knuckleballs. He threw out 35 percent of runners trying to steal and had a .993 fielding percentage. Boston ran away with the American League East Division title, clinching on September 20 when Rick Aguilera struck out Milwaukee’s Dave Nilsson, the ball disappearing in MacFarlane’s mitt as the team celebrated.

The Red Sox were swept in three games by Cleveland in the Division Series. Macfarlane started all three, going 3-for-9. His lone season in Boston quickly came to an end as the club decided to buy out his contract for $150,000 instead of picking up the $2.3 million option. “I figured they wouldn’t pick up the option because of the money,” Macfarlane said. “The kind of year I had certainly didn’t warrant that type of payoff, but if we can work something out where I can come back for less money, I’m willing to do that. Boston is where I want to be. I can’t really explain my troubles at the plate. I never really got going and I don’t know the reasons why. I do know I have to spend the winter working hard on my hitting.”23

Macfarlane returned to the Royals for 1996, signing a two-year contract for $1.6 million. He was happy to be back “home”; the family lived in nearby Overland Park, Kansas. “I’m back home,” Macfarlane said. “I know what the situation is here and I know Sal [Fasano is the future, but hopefully I can give them some production before that happens. I’m anxious to be back working for [manager] Bob (Boone).”24 The season saw Macfarlane appear in 112 games, 99 of them behind the plate as he competed not only against Fasano but also youngster Mike Sweeney, who would eventually represent the Royals in five All-Star Games. Macfarlane had a steady year at the plate, batting .274 with 19 home runs, quietly reaching six straight seasons with double-digit home runs. His 38.7 percent caught-stealing percentage ranked him fourth in the AL. A year removed from the postseason, Macfarlane’s Royals were in the basement of the AL Central (75-86).

Macfarlane’s 1997 season began slowly as he dealt with a strained muscle in his left side. Instead of giving himself time to heal in spring training, he kept playing through the pain, managing it with hot packs. Eventually the pain was too much and he started the season on the disabled list. He returned to the field on April 13, but a few days later he landed on his right shoulder diving for a bunt. “I jarred (the shoulder) and didn’t think much of it,” Macfarlane said, “but obviously something happened in there because a week and a half later it was full of fluid.”25 He returned to the disabled list, and returned to action at the end of May. He was batting a woeful .132 as the calendar flipped to June and he had played in only 22 games. He turned his season around batting .356 (.424 OBP) from July 31 on, and finished the season with eight home runs and 35 RBIs. He played in only 82 games, and the Royals catcher of the future was clearly Sweeney. Macfarlane’s caught-stealing percentage dipped to 30 percent. The Royals were again a disappointing basement dweller in the AL Central, finishing 67-94.

Accepting his role as a backup, Macfarlane signed a one-year contract for $700,000 to return to the Royals in 1998, taking a $150,000 pay cut. “I don’t look at making the kind of money I’m making as a cut,” he said. “I’m playing a game. Where else can I make this kind of money in the real world?”26 But Macfarlane’s tenure with the Royals came to a close just as the season was getting underway. The Royals traded him to the Oakland A’s for outfielder Shane Mack and a player to be named later (Greg Hansell). The A’s coveted Macfarlane’s experience to back up their young catcher, A.J. Hinch. “He’s going to bring some leadership behind the plate,” said his new manager, Art Howe. “He knows the league inside and out.”27 Macfarlane got into 78 games, batting .251 with seven home runs. He threw out only 28 percent of would-be basestealers in Oakland, his lowest percentage in four years. His highlight of the year was batting .636 as a pinch-hitter (7-for-11). Oakland finished in last in the AL West (74-88). The A’s brought him back in 1999 on a one-year contract for $600,000. It would be Macfarlane’s final season in the game.

A decade before, it was a young Macfarlane absorbing like a sponge insights from Bob Boone. Now Hinch was playing that role to the seasoned veteran. “It’s like a big brother/stepfather situation,” Hinch said. “We have lunch about once a city (on the road). We’ve taken a lot of cabs together. I feel like I’m right behind him everywhere I go. My father is gone, so I kind of use Mac as an older male role model.”28 Hinch would later be a mentor himself, managing the Houston Astros to success, including a World Series title in 2017.

At the end of Macfarlane’s 1999 season, reality started to set in that it was time to call it a career. With four young children (Megan, Austin, Allie, and Ryan) between the ages of 2 and 8, he realized there were bigger priorities now in his life. “My dad was around every day of my life, and I’d like to do the same,” he said. “I love baseball, but the family side is taking precedence over the professional side. There are things a father does for his children that I have to do.”29 In 81 games, Macfarlane batted .243 with four home runs, but showed he still could throw runners out when he needed to. His 41 percent caught-stealing rate was fifth in the league. “I don’t have an Ivan Rodriguez arm, but I throw out my share of runners,” Macfarlane said. “I don’t move as well as I used to, but I can still block a ball or two. And I still enjoy the game.”30

Macfarlane’s last game was at home against Seattle on October 3, the season finale. The much-improved A’s won, 3-1, finishing with 87 wins, their best record in seven years. The A’s would be a playoff-caliber team for the next several years. But this was the end of the road for Macfarlane. He came out to crouch behind the plate in the fifth inning, but did not receive another pitch. Howe sent in rookie Ramon Hernandez to replace him, allowing Macfarlane to exit to the dugout under a standing ovation. He responded with a curtain call. “That was something unexpected,” Macfarlane confessed. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that; that’s the first curtain call I’ve ever gotten.”31

Macfarlane caught more games than any other catcher (890) in Royals history going into 2018, although Salvador Perez was likely to pass him by. Perez had already broken two of Macfarlane’s records, blasting his 21st home run of the season in 2015 (one more than Macfarlane’s season high) and surpassing him in career home runs by a Royals catcher in 2018. Macfarlane had great things to say about the youngster in 2013. “I like everything about him, just love him. I would’ve loved to have played with him. I would’ve loved to have caught behind him. You look at what Salvador has done at such a young age, how he’s still humble, still respects the game and still plays it the right way. He’s got a lot of old school in him.”32

To keep Macfarlane’s career in historical perspective, Bill James, sabermetrics guru, gave an interesting story on Macfarlane, whom he ranked 84th out of 100 of the best catchers all-time. A discussion on Macfarlane led him to compile such a “best 100” at each position.

I was at a game with a friend, Royals game, and I asked my friend whether he thought Mike Macfarlane would be one of the top 100 catchers of all time. He hooted and sneered as if it was ridiculous to suggest such a thing, so my contrarian instincts came out, and I began to argue that he had to be one of the top 50. My friend said he could name 200 better catchers before the game was over. ‘Go,’ I said. He got to about 30, and then he started naming guys who maybe were better than Macfarlane, and maybe weren’t. It then struck me how few really good players there have been in major league history; there are 20, 30 perennial All-Stars at each position, and then it flatted out so that the difference between #40 and #70, at most positions, is just subtle things — ten good years against seven, 15 homers a year against 12.33

James also notes how Macfarlane’s knack for getting on base via a hit by pitch added to his value.

Indeed, he had the best HBP to GIDP ratio 97 times hit by a pitch, 79 times hit into a double play] of any catcher in baseball history. Sure, it’s a stupid list, but it helps explain why he ranks where he ranks.34

Macfarlane spent the first few years of his retirement working part time as a baseball analyst for ESPN and later contributed to Royals pre- and postgame broadcasts. He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

Most of his time, however, was spent at the Mac-N-Seitz Baseball and Softball Academy, which he founded with teammate Kevin Seitzer in 1996. By 2016, the academy was popular with local youth who were often being trained in how to throw a knuckle-curve. “For years Mac-N-Seitz has been Kansas City’s leading baseball and softball development program,” says its website. “Thousands of young men and women have come through these doors only to leave equipped with a better understanding of the game and the skills to match. We’ve had many of our students compete at the collegiate level and many end up going professional. Persistence, hard work, accountability, struggle, success … all adjectives that describe our way of life.”

Those adjectives also describe its co-founder, Mike Macfarlane.

 

Sources

Special thanks to Mike Macfarlane for previewing this biography before publication, and to Cassidy Lent, reference librarian at the Giamatti Research Center at the Baseball Hall of Fame, for providing a copy of Macfarlane’s file. Other sources include:

Baseball Record Book. Santa Clara University. santaclarabroncos.com/sports/m-basebl/record_book. Retrieved April 15, 2018.

Flanagan, Jeffrey. “Former Royal Macfarlane Enjoys Working College Game for ESPN,” Kansas City Star, June 15, 2004: C2.

Godi, Mark. “Pat Macfarlane Is Tokay Tigers Third Baseball Coach in 38 Years,” Lodi (California) News Sentinel, December 18, 2013.

John Macfarlane Family. Stockton Athletic Hall of Fame. stocktonhalloffame.com/john-macfarlane-family/ Retrieved April 15, 2018.

Kaegel, Dick. “Royals Sign Three; Appier Gets $3.8 Million. Macfarlane and Jose Also Agree to One-Year Deals,” Kansas City Star, February 5, 1994: D1.

Manderfeld, Luke. “Former Royals Catcher Mike Macfarlane Teaches Unique Pitch to Young Baseball Players,” Kansas City Star, July 28, 2016.

Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. mosportshalloffame.com/inductees/mike-macfarlane/ Retrieved April 16, 2018.

 

Notes

1 Susan Slusser, “Macfarlane Catches Praise from the A’s,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 18, 1999: B3.

2 Jeffrey Flanagan, “Macfarlane Leaves Baseball with Little Pomp, Fond Memories,” Kansas City Star, October 7, 1999: D2.

3 Bob Ryan, “He Doesn’t Mask Love for Game,” Boston Globe, August 23, 1995: 77.

4 Ibid.

5 Off the Wall (Lincoln High School yearbook, 1982).

6 Knight-Ridder News Service, “Macfarlane Overcomes Injury for Which He Shoulders Blame,” San Jose Mercury News, May 29, 1988: 5D.

7 Ibid.

8 Gordon Wittenmyer, “Macfarlane’s Arm Must Answer the 127-Foot, 3-Inch Question,” Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, March 21, 1988: 9C.

9 “Macfarlane Overcomes Injury.”

10 Dick Kaegel, “Macfarlane to Enter Missouri Sports Hall of Fame,” mlb.com/news/former-royals-catcher-mike-macfarlane-to-enter-missouri-sports-hall-of-fame/c-64236018. Published November 26, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2018.

11 Steve Pivovar, “Six-RBI Day Macfarlane Gift to Self, Royals,” Omaha World-Herald, April 13, 1987.

12 Steve Pivovar, “Macfarlane: Demotion Surprise, Ready to Give Omaha His Best,” Omaha World-Herald, July 27, 1988: 45.

13 Ibid.

14 Dick Kaegel, “Macfarlane Enters Season Certain of Uncertainties; Royals Catcher Knows How Promise Can Turn to Problems,” Kansas City Star, February 21, 1994: C6.

15 “Macfarlane Lost for Year; Omaha’s Lead at 3 Games,” Omaha World-Herald, August 17, 1988: 37.

16 Joan Ryan, “An Artist at Work — Catching Still Serious Business for Boone,” Tulsa World, July 17, 1989: 3C; Steve Cameron, “Macfarlane Learning Art of Catching; Making Hitters Fail Is One Part of the Position That He Gleaned from Watching, Listening to Boone,” Kansas City Star, June 6, 1991: D4; Mel Antonen, “Macfarlane Catches On After Adopting Boone’s Philosophy,” USA Today, March 27, 1991: 12C.

17 Jack Etkin, “Macfarlane Injures Knee; Torn Ligament Puts Catcher Out 6 to 8 Weeks After Play at Home Plate,” Kansas City Star, July 16, 1991: C1.

18 Dick Kaegel, “To Macfarlane, DL is ‘Doomed to Limbo’; Injured Left Knee Forces Royals Catcher to Sit, Watch His Team Win 17 of 21 Games,” Kansas City Star, August 9, 1991: D1.

19 Rick Plumlee, “Macfarlane Isn’t Playing … But He’s Not benched,” Wichita Eagle, May 9, 1992: 4B.

20 Dick Kaegel, “Mafarlane to Get $1.175 Million; Royals and Catcher Don’t Go to Arbitration,
 Kansas City Star, February 3, 1993: D8.

21 Sean McAdam, “Macfarlane Ecstatic About Joining Sox; Veteran Catcher Signs Contract with Team of Choice,” Providence Journal, April 9, 1995: C-08.

22 George Kimball, “Crazy Day. Macfarlane’s Where Action Is,” Boston Herald, May 15, 1995.

23 Nick Cafardo, “Sox Opt Out on Macfarlane,” Boston Globe, October 31, 1995: 71.

24 Jeffrey Flanagan, “Macfarlane Returns to Old Job with Royals — Two-Year, $1.6 Million Deal Brings Back Catcher. Mayne to be Traded or Cut,” Kansas City Star, December 17, 1995: C1.

25 “Macfarlane Says Experience Is Key Behind Plate,” Kansas City Star, June 5, 1997: D7.

26 Dick Kaegel, “Longtime Royal Macfarlane Will Be One a Year Longer,” Kansas City Star, November 26, 1997: D1.

27 Steve Kettmann, “A’s Trade Mack for Macfarlane,” San Francisco Chronicle, April 9, 1998: B4.

28 Jeff Fletcher, “Hinch All Ears as Macfarlane Passes Advice,” Santa Rosa (California) Press Democrat, March 20, 1999: C1.

29 Howard Bryant, “Macfarlane Heads Home; Last Season for A’s Catcher,” San Jose Mercury News, October 2, 1999: 5D.

30 Slusser, “Macfarlane Catches Praise,”

31 Susan Slusser, “With 87th Win, A’s Are League’s Most Improved; Macfarlane Gets Curtain Call in Finale,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 4, 1999: C3.

32 Kaegel, “Macfarlane to Enter Missouri Sports Hall of Fame,”

33 Bill James, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 422.

34 Ibid.

Full Name

Michael Andrew Macfarlane

Born

April 12, 1964 at Stockton, CA (USA)

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