Oakland A's Steve Vucinich is the clubhouse man who's seen it all

He became a salaried employee in 1974 when he was appointed guest clubhouse manager, a promotion that prompted him to drop out of college...


He became a salaried employee in 1974 when he was appointed guest clubhouse manager, a promotion that prompted him to drop out of college. “It got me through the doors,” Vucinich said. “Plus, it was a full time gig with decent money.”

Describing money as decent involved some agitation. Vucinich’s salary as a clubhouse manager, or clubbie – $ 300 a month – was decidedly not decent. But like all clubs, he was making a lot of extra money from players paying for services like food and laundry (in 1974 it was $ 5 per person per day). Vucinich was able to keep what was left after the expenses. These benefits, along with tips for personal groceries, could more than double his salary.

Special player requests are an endless source of Vucinich stories. He found an after-hours birthday cake for Roger Clemens and once filled a Coors steam chest for Carl Yastrzemski and Dwight Evans when they couldn’t get the beer east of the Kansas. (Modern versions of the same story involve buying wine from Napa players and the occasional In-N-Out hamburger run.)

“It’s the toughest job in baseball, taking care of a bunch of prima donnas, each of whom has a different need and thinks he’s the best guy and expects you to take care of him.” . at present“Said Sal Bando, captain of the 1972-1974 three-round A championship teams.” The way Vuc has handled the situation all these years is amazing. “

Today, the parameters of Vucinich’s position run deeper than ever. He arrives at the stadium around 10 a.m. for the night games and stays until things are over. It packs the team – common gear and individual gear – for each road trip. While uniform orders once consisted of cotton jerseys, pants and undershirts, today they include return and replacement options, as well as a wide range of performance gear. Here again, Vucinich no longer has to store or clean the ashtrays.

“Everything changes,” he said, “so you better get on board or you’re going to pull that pony out of the parking lot and not come back. “

Last season has been particularly trying, with rigid coronavirus protocols affecting all levels of clubhouse interaction. The MLB process document that Vucinich had to implement was 107 pages long and covered everything from individual toiletries to pitchers keeping their own baseballs for the relievers. Vucinich removed the furniture from the clubhouse and moved the team’s dining area to the outside, coping with staff at two-thirds of capacity given the strict limits on clubhouse staff.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Oakland A's Steve Vucinich is the clubhouse man who's seen it all
Oakland A's Steve Vucinich is the clubhouse man who's seen it all
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