Here are some Giants Gems for Ryan Vogelsong’s birthday from the 2012 Giants Media Guide – Happy Birthday Ryan!
Father, Harold, has worked for the same shoe company for 47 years. Now the manager of men’s products for Clark’s and Bostonian shoes, he began as a shoe salesman out of high school. Mother, Vickie, is a homemaker.
Vogelsong was drafted by the Giants in the 5th round in 1998. Made his Major League debut with the Giants on September 2, 2000. (His parents treasure the CD of that game with the play by play by Jon Miller.) Traded to the Pirates on July 30, 2001, and sent to Pirates’ Triple A club in Nashville. “I was a huge Cal Ripken Jr. fan. I had these dreams and aspirations of following in his footsteps and playing with one team my whole career. It was a sad day when I had to leave. I wanted to be a Giant.”
Within a week of arriving in Nashville, he met his future wife, Nicole, who grew up in Pittsburgh and moved to Nashville to pursue a singing career. “People say that the only good thing that came out of the Giants trade was me,’’ Nicole jokes. Her father owned season tickets to the Pirates, Penguins and Steelers.
Ryan’s four closest friends from high school and college still live in and around Coatesville and Downingtown. (Downington’s claim to fame: It was the setting for the 1958 movie, The Blob.) One childhood friend, Steve Fitch, went on to pitch in the minor leagues for the Cleveland Indians and is now a high school teacher in Coatesville. He is Ryan’s workout partner in the off-season.
Moved to Japan in 2007 to play for the Hanshin Tigers. Played there 2007, 2008 and 2009. He’d watch MLB games every day before he went to the ballpark (they were broadcast in the middle of the day). Says Nicole, “Every once in a while we’d see a guy (on an MLB team) who had been in Japan and I’d say, ‘See, babe? It can happen.’