Leading the Charge
The fourteen teams of the International League will once again be piloted by an experienced group of field managers in 2009. This year’s crop of IL skippers has won over 12,000 games combined in the Minor Leagues.
A new affiliation with the Mets brings a new skipper to Buffalo in Ken Oberkfell, who has managed New York’s Triple-A club in Norfolk (2005-06) and New Orleans (2007-08).
All four managers from the 2008 Governors’ Cup playoffs are back for another run at the IL’s postseason championship. The playoff managers won’t be the only familiar faces in International League dugouts this season. In fact, thirteen of the fourteen skippers have previously managed in the IL, including eleven who were in the League in 2008. In an interesting twist though, only eight managers are returning to the same city in which they served last year, thanks in part to the Major League affiliation shuffle this past offseason.
With such a high level of Triple-A experience in every one of the IL dugouts this season, 2009 is sure to be an exciting year. The League will also open two brand new facilities this season in Columbus (Huntington Park) and Gwinnett (Gwinnett Stadium). As the season unfolds, only time will tell who will become the 77th manager to have his name etched on the Governors’ Cup trophy.
Manager release courtesy: International League