Michael Toglia is an accomplished athlete who’s on track to pursue his dream of playing with Major League Baseball. Ranked the seventh-best baseball player in Washington state, he’s not discounting the idea of being drafted right out of high school. But his preference — and plan so far — is to attend college first and join MLB after his junior year.
Growing up in a family who has a love of the game, Toglia started playing baseball by age 5. He has played basketball for just as long, but considers baseball his first love. During the peak times, in the summer, he has spent an average of 25 hours a week training and playing baseball.
“It takes a lot of time and dedication, and sacrificing social time, sleep and other things,” he says.
Last year, his team placed third in the state, which Toglia considers the highlight of his athletic career. The team had a rough start to the season but dedicated extra effort to improving by running together after practicing and participating in team events.
“What really made the season special was how we came together as a team,” Toglia says.
Dan Gregory, PSD assistant superintendent who coached Toglia several years ago, says coaching him was “an enjoyable experience.”
“When it comes to character, win or lose, Michael always displays strong sportsmanship, showing respect for teammates and opponents alike,” Gregory says.
Toglia likes sharing his passion for baseball with others as well. He helped coach younger baseball players and enjoyed watching them improve and apply the skills he taught them.
“I got to form awesome relationships with the kids,” he says.
Toglia says he loves sports because he could see how much he can improve by putting in the extra work.
“I’m an extremely competitive person and sports is a way to let loose and explore how competitive I can be and how good I can become if I put the time and effort into it,” he says.
The same competitiveness also motivated him in the classroom, where Toglia has maintained a near-perfect GPA.
“Not only has he challenged himself by selecting rigorous courses, he has earned excellent grades in these courses, showing he is student with a strong work ethic and a drive to succeed,” Gregory says.
Toglia plans to play baseball at University of California Los Angeles, where he will study chemical or mechanical engineering. He’s following in the footsteps of his father, who’s also an engineer.
Education: Senior, Gig Harbor High School
Parents: Angelo and Stacey Toglia
Activities/Achievements: Varsity baseball All League (2), All-Area (2), All-State captain (3), MVP (3), Gold Glove (3), Cy Young winner (3), ranked No.7 in Washington, Seattle Mariner Cup alumni, Area Code Kansas City Royals alumni; varsity basketball captain, All-League; 8 AP/Honors classes; National Honor Society; National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists Award of Excellence; National Society of High School Scholars; GH Basketball camp assistant, tournament referee; GH Little League umpire; baseball coach assistant; GHHS Most Athletic
Favorite teacher: Dennis Johnson, AP chemistry, “because he demands me to be the best academic individual that I can be, and he does so with a great sense of humor.”
Best thing about high school: the atmosphere. “I believe that the students are accepting of one another and I believe they provide each other with support during times of hardship. Because of high school, I have developed unbreakable bonds with friends that I will know for the rest of my life.”