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RailCats Announce Longterm Contract Extension for Manager Greg Tagert

January 15, 2008 - Northern League (NL) - Gary SouthShore Railcats News Release

Gary, Ind.-The 2007 Northern League Champion Gary SouthShore RailCats Professional Baseball club announced today that the contract of manager Greg Tagert has been extended through the 2010 baseball season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tagert and his wife and children will also relocate their permanent home to Northwest Indiana from their longtime residence in Vacaville, California. Tagert will assume a year-round position with the RailCats administrative staff at U. S. Steel Yard and participate in the club's community service campaign, speaking to schools, service organizations, and other groups.

Tagert joined the RailCats in January of 2005. At the time, the new RailCats team was coming off a year in which it had set the Northern League record for most losses in a season. Upon his arrival, the club's on-field fortunes immediately changed as the RailCats won the 2005 Northern League championship, reached the league finals in 2006 before settling for a runner-up finish, and captured another league title in 2007 while posting the circuit's best regular season record and winning division titles in both halves. Tagert was selected Northern League Manager of the Year in 2007.

Tagert's career record with the RailCats is 163-126 (.564) during the regular season. The RailCats have won 16 of a possible 18 post-season games during Tagert's tenure, posting a record of 16-13 (.552).

Tagert's success on the field has also fueled the continued momentum of attendance growth. The RailCats set attendance records for season total and average per game in 2007, marking the fourth consecutive year that crowds at U. S. Steel Yard have increased.

"Our agreement with Greg Tagert through the 2010 season represents not only a commitment between the RailCats and Greg, but also a commitment to our fans and supporters throughout Northwest Indiana to continue down a path that has proven to be successful," said George Huber, Chairman of Southshore Baseball, LLC, the RailCats ownership group.

"Since Greg joined the RailCats prior to the 2005 season, he has developed a winning program that has included two championships and a team of high-character players that the community can be proud of. The great support from our fans and sponsors has made it possible for the RailCats to be in a position to compete with top clubs for the services of the best manager in independent baseball and keep him with the RailCats for many seasons to come. Greg's record speaks for itself."

"This organization has been everything I could have hoped for," said Tagert. "Working for this ownership group, with the front office, the whole environment has been a wonderful experience the last three years. I'm looking forward to the same enjoyment over the next three years and fulfilling the goal of helping the RailCats become the most successful franchise in independent baseball and one of the finest in all of professional sports."

RailCats Vice President & General Manager Bill Terlecky spoke at Tuesday's news conference announcing the extension.

"If you play for Greg, you had better respect the game, play hard at all times, and first and foremost, be a team player" said Terlecky. "While Greg's ability to manage our club during the season is certainly a key element to our success, his ability based on his many years of experience to recruit and sign players that are winners both on and off the field sets him apart from the competition."

GREG TAGERT BIOGRAPHY

Tagert will return for his fourth season as RailCats Manager and Director of Player Procurement in 2008. He has built what Baseball America has termed a "mini-dynasty" in his three years with the RailCats, capturing two Northern League titles and making three consecutive trips to the league finals.

Greg was honored as Northern League Manager of the Year in 2007. The personable northern Californian with the friendly smile has won more than 550 games in his career and has enjoyed 12 winning seasons in 12 years as a manager.

Tagert led the RailCats to a 58-38 record in 2007 as the club won both the first half and second half South Division titles, posted the league's best overall regular season record, and battled back from two-games-to-one deficits in both the post-season semi-finals and Northern League Championship Series (both best-of-five sets) to earn the title.

The RailCats led the league in both team pitching and team fielding in 2007. They started the year by going 14-3 in their first 17 games, 20-6 over their first 26, and 27-11 over their first 38 to clinch the first half divisional title with nine games to play in the half. Their 30-18 record in the first half established a new club record for wins in a half, topping the 27 wins they totaled in both halves in 2005.

The second half was much more difficult for the RailCats, but the end result was the same. Despite sitting in fourth place, three and one-half games out of first with 17 games to play, the RailCats captured the second half flag by going 14-3 over their final three weeks of the season.

Tagert joined the RailCats in 2005, taking over a club that had set the league record for losses the previous season. He guided the club to the 2005 league title, posting a regular season record of 54-42. The RailCats gained the franchise's first-ever post-season appearance on the final weekend of the regular season as the second half division champions. The RailCats battled back from a two-games-to-one deficit in the first round of the playoffs to defeat defending league champion St. Paul. After falling behind powerhouse West Division champ Fargo-Moorhead two-games-to-none in the league finals, the RailCats won three straight over F-M at the Steel Yard to earn their first title.

Greg led a rebuilt 2006 RailCats club that nearly enjoyed the same kind of storybook finish as the '05 edition, overcoming tremendous odds to come within two victories of another league championship. The RailCats won their final eight games of the season including a special Eastern Division Second Half tie-breaker against Joliet to earn a post-season berth. Then, after losing the first two games of their best-of-five Eastern Division Championship Series at Schaumburg, the RailCats won three straight, all at home, to go on the league finals. After winning game one and leading game two with two outs in the ninth inning, the RailCats fell to Fargo-Moorhead three games to one. Gary finished the regular season with a 51-46 record.

Greg is the all-time Frontier League leader in career victories and spent nine years in the F.L. before coming to Gary. He led his team to six consecutive playoff appearances while posting a record of 412-336 (.551) in the Frontier League.

Tagert, 44, managed the Springfield-Ozard Ducks in 2004, leading the club to a 52-44 record. The franchise operated as the Kenosha Mammoths in 2003 and as the Dubois County Dragons in 2001-'02 under Tagert's leadership. Previously, he managed in Evansville (1997-'00) and Ohio Valley (1995) in the Frontier League.

Tagert has demonstrated the ability to pay immediate dividends wherever he has managed. When he joined Dubois County in 2001, the club had finished in last place in five of the previous six seasons. However, Tagert led the Dragons to a 48-36 record in his first season, claiming a Western Division title and earning Frontier League Manager of the Year honors.

Prior to Tagert's arrival in Evansville in 1997, the club had never posted a winning record. In his first year as manager, he led the team to the league's best record and a berth in the Frontier League Championship Series.

Tagert has also served as a scout with the Detroit Tigers and as pitching coach at the University of New Mexico. He was a pitcher at San Francisco State University.

Tagert and his wife Mary are the parents of sons Ben (20), Josh (18), Sam (16), and daughter Elaine (12). Tagert is a native of Vacaville, California.

The RailCats begin defense of their 2007 Northern League title on May 15th when they host Joliet in the 2008 season opener. Call (219) 882-2255 for ticket information.

More Info: The Gary SouthShore RailCats are a Professional Minor League Baseball Team serving Northwest Indiana and Chicago's south suburbs. The RailCats won the Northern League championship in 2005 and 2007 and for each of the last four years, they have been chosen "Best Local Spectator Sport" by Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly. Their 96 game schedule includes 48 home games at beautiful U. S. Steel Yard, an award-winning 6,000 seat state-of-the-art facility located next to the Indiana Toll Road (I-90) with easy access to I-65


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