Scott Spiezio, the edgy, soul-patched, hard-rocking utility man behind the most famous home run in Angels' World Series history, ought to have his own reality TV show. He is, after all, 40 years old, a father of three children, five years removed from playing his last major league game and only now – like 20 minutes ago – realizing that he probably should make that transition to new life after baseball. He never officially retired from the game that he played for 12 seasons (1996-2007), including four with the Angels (2000-2003). He just stopped playing when teams stopped calling. Spiezio knows, regrettably, that his late-career battles with everything – drugs, alcohol, depression, divorce, the public shame of a 2008 Irvine drunken-driving crash and arrest and "the demons," several friends said – probably cost him another season, maybe even a comeback. "I spent a lot of time rebuilding and I guess it's now time to get busy," said Spiezio, who will return to Angel Stadium on Saturday as grand marshal for his latest sports fascination, AMA Supercross. "I like the people out here and the time I had here with the Angels. I've surrounded myself with the right people. I've got that thirst again to go out and do stuff." After a 2009 stint in independent ball, Spiezio has been living on a 60-acre compound in his childhood hometown of Morris, Ill. There, he has built himself a "giant mancave" home with a basketball court, batting cages, a recording studio and a backyard playground featuring 2 1/2 miles of rugged track for riding four-wheeler ATVs, a stretch of Nettles Creek for kayaking and a wooden area for hunting deer. "I just bought a Mathews hunting bow," he said. "The first arrow I shot hit the wall of my house and I couldn't get it out." Spiezio lives a mile from his ex-wife with whom he shares custody of Tyler, 13, Cody, 10, and Tessa, 8. He plays video games with them, throws them batting practice and helps them with homework. "The transition has been tough for me because I've gone from having that adrenalin of playing in front TV cameras and of 47,500 people every night to living in the middle of 60 acres," he said. "When I'm with the kids, it's one thing, but when I'm by myself, I'm like, 'What do I do?' and I start putting up ziplines."
Spiezio is looking for a new life in an old place
Orange County Register | Jan 14