Baseball

Cordova High pitcher Chris Bosio gets a ring, hometown praise after Cubs win

Chicago Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio, right, talks to starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks during the third inning of Game 2 of the National League baseball championship series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, in Chicago.
Chicago Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio, right, talks to starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks during the third inning of Game 2 of the National League baseball championship series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, in Chicago. AP

Chris Bosio was a grinder of a pitcher, a power guy who dominated his craft at Cordova High School and Sacramento City College in the 1980 and had moments of greatness in the big leagues.

He won 94 Major League games and tossed a no-hitter for the Seattle Mariners against the Boston Red Sox in 1993. Bosio logged 11 big-league seasons, including a stint with the Milwaukee Brewers, before his knees gave out. But he's still involved in the highest level of the game, still an integral part of the game's unique history.

These days, Bosio, 50, is trying to get the champagne smell out of his clothes, or maybe not. He's the pitching coach for the Chicago Cubs, who beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in 10 innings Wednesday in Game 7 of the World Series.

Bosio was receiving congratulations from Sacramento area fans on social media the day after the championshp win.

This year, Bosio supervised the best staff in baseball despite early signs of rotation fatigue, bullpen ineffectiveness and injuries.

Cubs pitchers have raved about the approach and methods of Bosio, who likes to say, "If you aren't tough enough, this game will eat you alive."

"From talking with him and people who played with and against him, you learn a lot about his demeanor and competitiveness, his will to win," pitcher Jake Arrieta told the Chicago Tribune. "He's a guy who didn't put up with much. He was a tough guy back in the day. Still is.

“But that fire he had, he instills a lot of that in these guys here and has a lot of credibility because he did this in the same game we're playing, and he did it for a long time. Anytime you can have a mentor or instructor who has those credentials, it really helps guys to be able to latch on to him and use that information to the best of their ability."

Bosio was always tough enough.

He tossed two no-hitters on the Cordova junior varsity team and then produced seasons of 11-1 and 9-2 as the star ace for coach Guy Anderson on championship Lancers teams.

Baseball was a positive outlet for Bosio, whom Anderson described as a driven free spirit. The oldest of three, Bosio regularly tended to his siblings while their mother, Joan, courageously battled Hodgkins lymphoma. He hustled home from school to see her. His father, Lou, worked three jobs to help pay soaring medical costs.

Bosio has said he thinks of his late mother often.

Bosio said this in an interview years ago, "For years, I literally watched my mom dying in front of my eyes. I watched her lose her hair because of the radiation treatments, and I saw her wear the bandanas. I saw her be miserable because she didn't want her kids to see her that way. Believe me when I say this. I don't fear any man. I don't fear any situation. It was devastating to watch your mother go through something like that. But she battled her (butt) off. And she beat it (for a long time). She didn't let it get her."

Somewhere, mom was smiling down on a spent Bosio late Wednesday.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

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