ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – This week for the Piscotty family, baseball will likely be one of the furthest things from their minds. But when they return from their cruise to Hawaii, they’ll again get to celebrate the news that Stephen Piscotty is coming home.
The outfielder was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Oakland Athletics last week, sending him to the team he has been a fan of since he was an infant. And bringing him back to his mom, Gretchen, who was diagnosed with ALS in May.
“She’s doing well,” Piscotty told our Chris Hrabe during is guest appearance on Monday night’s Sports Open Line. “In good spirits and obviously happy to hear that I’m coming home. It’s all good.”
It’s obviously bittersweet for Piscotty, who called it an “end of an era” after being drafted by St. Louis in 2012 and spending the first five years of his career inside that organization.
“It was a dream come true just to make it to the Major Leagues,” Piscotty says. “And obviously that is going to be one of my ultimate dreams and I accomplished that with the Cardinals. But this is definitely another dream, to get to play with your hometown team.”
The week leading up to the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Piscotty says his eventual departure from St. Louis was “telegraphed.” Knowing that St. Louis was pursuing 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, Piscotty realized “that probably was going to be the end,” but says he felt no resentment to the team wanting to get a player of Stanton’s talent.
“When it didn’t go through, I figured it looked like I’ll be back,” Piscotty says. “Then the (Marcell) Ozuna stuff kind of popped up late and I wasn’t expecting that. Then when I saw it was confirmed the familiar thoughts of what was going on before with Stanton kind of resurfaced. Then I got a text from my agent that something was close to being done.”
The day after the Ozuna deal was made official, Piscotty’s trade to Oakland was announced.
As Hollywood as the deal may sound, it was clearly a business decision. Yes, Piscotty was expendable in St. Louis and Oakland was looking for an outfielder. But as Athletics general manager Billy Beane has previously said, “He was the one guy we wanted at the Winter Meetings.”
Beane told The Mercury News, he had been asked about Piscotty since August, contacting St. Louis every other week – with no mention of Piscotty’s mother.
“That’s what makes the Cardinals one of the classiest organizations in sports,” Beane told The Mercury News.
Piscotty says what he’ll remember about St. Louis is the 2015 Postseason series against the Chicago Cubs. Although the Cubs eliminated the Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLDS, Piscotty homered in three of those four games.
“It’s something that’s hard to put into words and it gives me chills,” Piscotty says. “I’m really going to cherish those memories and hope that I can kind of recreate some of them here in Oakland.”
Piscotty remembers the old photos of himself “decked out in A’s gear” and says he has received an overwhelming amount of messages welcoming him home.
In Oakland he’ll be reunited with Dan Kantrovitz, entering his third season as assistant general manager, and the former Cardinals director of scouting during the time Piscotty was drafted.