AirHogs Manager Records 400th Career Victory
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - The Grand Prairie AirHogs manager Ricky VanAsselberg recorded his 400th career win as a manager on Monday night, when the AirHogs beat the Kansas City T-Bones, 9-4, at Community/America Ballpark in Kansas City.
"Ricky is one of the best managers in all of baseball and we really appreciate what he's done for the AirHogs," said John Bilbow, AirHogs VP/GM. "I know 400 wins is quite an achievement. I'm sure it's a milestone Ricky will appreciate even more down the road."
VanAsselberg is his third season as the skipper of the AirHogs. In his first season as manager for the AirHogs, he led Grand Prairie to the 2011 American Association Championship. While the title was the first for the franchise, VanAsselberg is no stranger to success on the field.
A native of Gardner, LA, VanAsselberg attended Baptist Christian College in Shreveport, LA, where he won back-to-back national small-college titles in '95 and '96. He was also twice named a small-college All-American and was named the tournament MVP in 1996. He started playing professionally with the Alexandria Aces in '96 and was signed to a rookie deal with the Baltimore Orioles in '97.
After stints with the Ozark Mountain Ducks and the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings, VanAsselbeg took his first managerial job in 2006 with the team he started with, Alexandria, and won back-to-back United League Championships. He was also named Manager of the Year during both his title seasons.
VanAsselberg moved on to manage the Shreveport-Bossier Captains in '09 and '10, winning his first American Association Championship in the latter year. He moved to Grand Prairie in 2011, winning his second consecutive title with a different squad.
Grand Prairie, in the road to the 2011 title, had a league leading record of 64-36 to clinch the South Division. The AirHogs took down the Wichita Wingnuts in four games of a five-game series. The championship series with the Northern Division Champions, the St. Paul Saints, proved more difficult. St. Paul jumped out to a two-games-to-none lead, putting Grand Prairie one game away from elimination. The AirHogs fought off the Saints to win the next three games and clinch the title. This season is no different. VanAsselberg is looking to claim his fifth title in eight years as a manager.
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