September 29, 2017 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Sugar Land Skeeters
SUGAR LAND, TX - The Sugar Land Skeeters announced today that Gary Gaetti is stepping down as manager with the expiration of his contract. Gaetti, the only manager in franchise history, was hired as the club's inaugural skipper in 2011 and managed the club for six seasons (2012-2016).
"Gary has been an integral part of the Skeeters organization and played a big role in starting the franchise," said Jay Miller, Skeeters President. "His knowledge and success in the game was so valuable to the organization in building a new franchise on the field and in the community. Under Gary's leadership, we played championship baseball highlighted by winning the Atlantic League championship last season. We couldn't have been more pleased with the results and we wish Gary all the best and we will always consider him part of the Skeeters family."
Gaetti and the Skeeters captured their first Atlantic League Championship title in 2016, sweeping the York Revolution in the Freedom Division Series and then winning three straight games over the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League Championship Series.
The Skeeters became the first team to go 6-0 in the playoffs and ended the 2016 campaign with 10 straight wins. Under his leadership, the team reached the league playoffs in three of six seasons, including two Championship Series appearances (2014, 2016).
In his six years as manager, Gaetti compiled a 450-391 (.535) regular season record. The 2013 campaign was a record-breaking year compiling a 95-45 overall record, and he was named the Atlantic League Manager of the Year in just his second season.
A veteran of 20 Major League seasons as a player with the Minnesota Twins, California Angels, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox, the Illinois native was a two-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove Award Winner, 1995 Silver Slugger Award winner and the 1987 ALCS MVP with the Twins and would go on to help them win the 1987 World Series.
Gaetti posted a .255 career batting average in 2,507 games with 2,280 hits, 360 HR and 1,341 RBI in 20 major league seasons. After his playing career, Gaetti began coaching in 2002 as a member of the Minor League's New Orleans Zephyrs' Triple-A staff.
In 2004, he was appointed hitting coach for the Houston Astros where he helped the club to an NLCS championship in 2005 and their first ever World Series appearance. Gaetti held the same position with Tampa Bay's AAA affiliate, the Durham Bulls, during the 2007-2008 (managed the last few weeks) seasons before being named the first manager of the Sugar Land Skeeters in 2011.
Gary was recently inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame on February 2, 2017 and in 2007 was named to the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame.