Mike Ryan was born on November 25, 1941, in Haverhill, Mass. He signed with his local (and favorite) team, the Boston Red Sox and started his pro career for the Class-D Olean Red Sox in the New York-Penn League. He would spend two seasons in Class-D Ball.

Mike moved up to AA Reading in 1963, where he batted .229. He improved his hitting to .249 in 1964, his second season with Reading. Though his power numbers dipped, his improved offense and excellent defense earned him an Eastern League All-Star selection. He also joined the Red Sox right at the end of the season when catcher Bob Tillman fractured his thumb.

Mike was sent to the Florida Instructional League. Instructor Bobby Doerr told him to focus on his hitting. Doerr found some flaws in Ryan’s mechanics and helped him become a better hitter.

He split 1965 with the Red Sox and AAA Toronto. Despite the low average, his defensive skills kept him on the team, and he even led all Red Sox catchers in 1966 by starting 106 games, but he batted .214.

The 1967 Red Sox won 92 games under new manager Dick Williams, winning the AL pennant. Again, his defensive know-how proved valuable, but still moved to a backup role when the Red Sox acquired Elston Mike was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1968.

For his 11 years in the majors, Mike had a lifetime fielding percentage behind the plate was .991, and he threw out 44% of all runners trying to steal a base on him.

Mike Ryan passed away in his home at Wolfeboro, NH on July 7, 2020 at age 78.