Tom Emanski

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Tom Emanski
Thomas Jerome Emanski

February 1948 (1948-02) (age 75)
  • Baseball coach
  • baseball scout
Years active1982–2003

Thomas Jerome Emanski (born February 1948) [1] is an American baseball coach and former Major League scout. He is best known for his coaching instructional videos, whose advertisements were ubiquitous on ESPN in the late 1990s.


Early life

Emanski grew up in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre region of northeastern Pennsylvania. After high school, he moved to Florida, where he worked assembling mainframe computers for IBM while coaching youth baseball and football. [1]

Coaching and scouting career

By the early 1980s, Emanski was well-known in Florida baseball circles, running coaching seminars and studying the mechanics of baseball using techniques he had learned at IBM. [1] In 1986, he opened Baseball World, a youth baseball school in Maitland, Florida, where he tested his methods on his students. [2] His teams found success, winning back-to-back-to-back Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national youth championships in three divisions: 12 and under (1990), 13 and under/under '90 (1991), and 11 and under (1992). [3] Emanski also coached the 1996 Junior Pan American team to two wins against Cuba and the gold medal. [4]

From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Emanski worked as a scout for the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Houston Astros. [1] He gave his last interview in 2003 and has avoided press attention in retirement. [1]

Instructional videos

In 1986, Emanski produced his first instructional video, Mechanics of the Major League Swing. More titles followed, which were advertised on television in select regional markets, such as Houston and Florida, and sold well. [1] The commercials featured youth players running Emanski's drills, the use of which produced "back-to-back-to-back AAU national championship teams." The advertisements also featured endorsements from Fred McGriff, recorded in a single day in 1991, whose swing Emanski had analyzed when the slugger was in the minor leagues. [1] [5] [6] In 2021, McGriff admitted on Kenny Mayne's final ESPN show that he had never seen Emanski's defensive drills video. [7] In 1997, Emanski struck a deal with ESPN to advertise his videos, with the network receiving as much as a third of each sale. [1] The commercials ran on ESPN from June 14, 1997 to January 2, 2007; a 2014 profile of Emanski estimated the commercials had run at least 50,000 times during that span. [1]

The frequent commercial airings made the Emanski videos fodder for sports analysts lampooning a lack of fundamental play in professional baseball players. For example, Jayson Stark said the St. Louis Cardinals' poor defensive display in the 2002 National League Championship Series "[wouldn't] be recommended by Tom Emanski." [8] A 2005 New York Times article suggested that New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez spend $29.95 and "buy the eminent baseball instructor Tom Emanski's DVD, Teaching the Mechanics of the Major League Swing II." [9]

List of Emanski videos

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Malinowski, Erik (July 17, 2014). "Pitchman: How Tom Emanski changed the sport of baseball—and then disappeared". Fox Sports. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  2. Cush, Herky (June 16, 1985). "Emanski's Baseball World Soon to Become Reality in Maitland". The Orlando Sentinel . p. S-28.
  3. "Past AAU Baseball Champions". AAU Baseball. Archived from the original on April 5, 2007. Retrieved August 24, 2007.
  4. "USA Beats Cuba". Tom Emanski Baseball Videos. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  5. Caple, Jim; Rovell, Darren. "Ironman of Commercials". . Retrieved August 24, 2007.
  6. Brown, Larry (July 22, 2019). "Fred McGriff shared how he ended up in Tom Emanski commercial". Yardbarker. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  7. Cwik, Chris (May 25, 2021). "Former MLB star admits he's never seen iconic video in which he starred". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  8. Stark, Jayson (October 12, 2002). "Cards win, but Tom Emanski covers his eyes". . Retrieved March 5, 2009.
  9. Sandomir, Richard (October 12, 2005). "TV SPORTS; Thanks to Fox Analysts, A-Rod Takes His Lumps". The New York Times . Retrieved March 29, 2008.
  10. "Baseball Videos". Tom Emanski Baseball Videos. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved March 31, 2022.