Alyson Footer

Vogt receives award for Foley impression

A's catcher wins Best MLB Interview, enjoys showing off-field personality

Vogt receives award for Foley impression

HOUSTON -- Motivationally speaking, A's catcher Stephen Vogt has a knack for commanding attention in his own special, unique way.

He does this by dressing in tacky clothes, stuffing a pillow in his shirt, hunching over and spewing out well-meaning but useless bits of advice designed only to confuse people.

Meet motivational speaker Matt Foley, the alter-ego of the late comedian Chris Farley, who made the character famous years ago on "Saturday Night Live."

Vogt's spot-on impression of Foley made its way into the national conversation with a couple of appearances on MLB Network's "Intentional Talk," including one about a year ago when, in full Foley character, Vogt gave his best 15-second endorsement as to why he should be selected to the All-Star team.

After the season ended, Vogt won an award for the effort, receiving the MLB Esurance Award for the Best MLB Interview. He was presented his GIBBY Award on Saturday before the A's-Astros game at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

"It's really cool," Vogt said. "I'm obviously honored to be getting this award, but it's a lot of fun to show the fans that we're real people and we have other personalities than just being baseball players."

Foley is not the first impression Vogt has mastered. That credit goes to Vogt's comical imitation of a basketball referee, a routine so entertaining that it eventually netted him a bobblehead day in Oakland and prompted legions of fans to arrive to A's game in full ref gear and blow whistles at him.

Refs come in support of Vogt

The Foley fury began a couple of Spring Trainings ago, when the A's held an early-morning meeting to go over Major League Baseball's new pace-of-play rules, which included an edict for hitters to keep one foot inside the batter's box during an at-bat.

Manager Bob Melvin asked Vogt for some assistance in getting the message across to the team. For that, Vogt turned to a guy who always commands attention -- the thrice-divorced, living-in-a-van-down-by-the-river Foley.

"I had about an hour or so to put some stuff together," Vogt said. "I kind of rewrote the Matt Foley speech, but using the pace-of-play rules."

Vogt considers that to be Foley's baseball coming out party.

"I had done [the impression] before, in my previous life before baseball," Vogt said. "That's where I kind of showed Matt Foley to the baseball crowd."

By all accounts, the baseball crowd loves it, especially because it gives fans a chance to see a ballplayer in a different light, away from the field.

"For me, to be able to go on [Intentional Talk] two years in a row and sort of show different sides of my character and who I am and my personality, it's been a lot of fun for me," Vogt said. "I'm honored to take home the best interview GIBBY award."

The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor Major League Baseball's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five components, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) voters.

Individual awards went to the Best Major Leaguer, in addition to the winners in the following categories: Best Everyday Player, Starting Pitcher, Rookie, Defensive Player, Breakout Player, Bounceback Player, Social Media Personality and Postseason Performer.

Winners were also recognized for the year's Best Offensive Play, Defensive Play, Moment, Single-Game Performance, Social Media Post, Celebrity Fan, Fan Catch, Video Board Moment, TV Call, Radio Call, Player-Fan Interaction and Trending Topic.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.