After years of racing four wheelers around the tracks in his backyard on his 60-acre lot here in town, Morris native Scott Spiezio has found a new groove following the AMA Supercross series.
"Watching those guys run like that in every race ... sometimes there is 20 riders going into a corner at the same time," Spiezio said. "Watching them gives me an adrenaline rush that I have missed since I quit playing."
The connection to the Monster Energy AMA Supercross tour came after Illinois native and Feld Motor Sports Director of Public relations Denny Hartwig realized there was an instant connection for Spiezio to be involved in the sport.
"The unofficial home of Monster Energy AMA Supercross is Angels Stadium. I talked to Scott about doing it because he said that he needed to get out and do something. At the same time, it was a good opportunity for us to get a big name there who our audience could identify with. Our audience is a bit edgier and so we thought it was a good opportunity to put him in front of a different type of audience around people he knows."
Last Thursday, Spiezio was in Anaheim for an FIM World Championship held at Angels Stadium, acting as the Grand Marshal for the AMA. Of course, that is also the place where Spiezio made a name for himself as a member of the Anaheim Angels baseball team - a squad that won the 2002 World Series. Spiezio was, of course, a huge reason for the success of the Angels that year. He contributed 19 RBI in that particular postseason, which included a key three-run home run in game 6 against the San Francisco Giants. Spiezio's homer helped the Angels come back from a five-run deficit and it has widely been celebrated as the No. 2 moment of all time in Angels history.
Last August, the Angels honored the iconic home run by dedicating a red seat in the stadium where the ball landed in right field. This celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the team's championship run.
"I ran out from right field when they announced me. I had been sitting in that seat," Spiezio recalled. "They opened the gate in front of me. It was neat."
Fast forward to Thursday and Spiezio was right back at that familiar seat while addressing the media on hand for the Supercross event.
"I did my interviews from out there right by the seat," he said.
While Spiezio acted as the grand marshal on Thursday, he has also taken an interest in helping the motorcycle riders themselves.
"He's helped out many of the drivers with public relations and he's also done live starts for us," Hartwig said.
This weekend the AMA event is at the Oakland Coliseum, another place Spiezio called home as a Major League Baseball player.
"I've been doing a lot of media stuff and helping (the riders)," Spiezio said. "They are amazing athletes but they don't handle the media well. But they are young, very young."
Spiezio said his days of playing in front of 47,000 people and then dealing with the media on a daily basis has given him an insight that he wants to share with the AMA drivers.
"Those guys are in different situations than I was," he said. "They have teams, but at any time there are guys riding right behind them that could take them out. It's kind of like NASCAR where you have teams of two or three guys, but that doesn't always help them when there are sometimes 20 guys riding into a corner at the same time. They face a lot of tension and the rush is there."