International League Field Managers Ready for 2020 Season
February 11, 2020 - International League (IL) News Release
When the International League's 137th season opens on April 9, eight of the circuit's fourteen teams will have a new manager leading the quest to capture the coveted Governors' Cup trophy.
Only six managers return from the 2019 season, although several of the League's new field generals bring pre-existing ties to their teams and communities. It is the first time since 2006 that more than half of the circuit's clubs changed managers during an offseason.
The reining IL Manager of the Year Damon Berryhill is the International League's longesttenured manager, preparing to begin his fourth season at the helm of the Gwinnett Stripers.
Also hoping to get his team back to the postseason is Brady Williams, who took Durham to the finals in his first year with the Bulls in 2019. They will be challenged in the South Division by another returning manager in Norfolk, Gary Kendall.
The 2018 IL Manager of the Year, Lehigh Valley's Gary Jones, will lead the IronPigs once again this season. Like Jones, Brian Esposito in Indianapolis is also at the helm for the third straight campaign. IL Hall of Famer Billy McMillon will manage the Red Sox for the franchise's final season at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.
Two men have found themselves moving from a coach's role to the manager's chair in 2020.
Pennsylvania-native Doug Davis (former Syracuse manager) takes over in Scranton/WilkesBarre after three seasons coaching, while in Columbus, Ohio-native Andy Tracy is the new manager after helping lead the Clippers to the 2019 Governors' Cup title as hitting coach.
Two other new managers are enjoying a homecoming this season. Gastonia, North Carolina's own Wes Helms gets his first managing job this season with Charlotte. Toby Gardenhire, from Mahassett, New York, becomes the 16th individual to have played for and managed the Rochester Red Wings after a promotion from Class-A.
Pat Kelly is back with the Louisville Bats, where he briefly managed in 2018 before an organizational shake-up saw him promoted to the Reds staff.
This year's crop of new field managers in the International League includes six men making their debut as a skipper at the Triple-A classification. That includes Ken Huckaby in Buffalo, who has previously taken two teams to the playoffs at lower levels of the Blue Jays system. The Syracuse Mets will be piloted this season by Chad Kreuter, the organization's advanced-A manager since 2017. And in Toledo, Tom Prince joins the Tigers organization after 26 years with the Pirates.
Kelly and Jones are the only two managers to have won at least 1,000 games in their careers as a Minor League skipper. All fourteen men hope to be the one destined to have his name etched onto the Governors' Cup trophy when the 2020 season concludes this September.
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International League Stories from February 11, 2020
- International League Field Managers Ready for 2020 Season - IL
- Clippers Announce April Ticket Specials - Columbus Clippers
- Blue Jays Add Veteran Petricka with Minor League Deal - Buffalo Bisons
- 2020 Fireworks Nights Set - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
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