23 Jul

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As recently as 2018, there were seven managers with Mississippi ties running games in the big leagues. As the 2020 season finally opens, there are but two left: Ex-Mississippi Braves manager Brian Snitker in Atlanta and former Jackson Mets infielder Ron Gardenhire in Detroit. State-connected coaches on MLB staffs are a bit more plentiful, and the list includes one making a special debut on the big stage: Antoan Richardson. The former M-Braves outfielder, who spent parts of 2010 and ’11 in Pearl, is the first-base coach for San Francisco, having been added to new manager Gabe Kapler’s crew in January. Richardson is the first native of the Bahamas to coach in the majors. He also made a name for himself as a player in 2014, when he scored the game-winning run on Derek Jeter’s walk-off hit in his final at-bat at Yankee Stadium. Other connected coaches: Louisville native and ex-East Central Community College star Marcus Thames is again the hitting coach for the New York Yankees. … Former Jackson Generals hitting coach Dave Hudgens – the Houston Astros’ hitting coach during the scandalized 2017 season — is the bench coach for Toronto. … Gardenhire’s Detroit staff includes JaxMets alum Rick Anderson as pitching coach and Jackson State product Dave Clark as first-base coach. … Al Pedrique, a fan favorite as a JaxMets shortstop in the early 1980s, is the third-base coach in Oakland. … Ole Miss alum Mickey Callaway, manager of the New York Mets in 2018-19, is now the pitching coach under Joe Maddon with the Los Angeles Angels. … JaxMets alum Tim Bogar returns as first-base coach for World Series champ Washington. … Marty Reed, a former M-Braves pitching coach, is the bullpen coach in Atlanta. … Ex-M-Braves standout Eric Duncan is now an assistant hitting coach in Miami. … Chris Young, a Mississippi State product from Biloxi who was Philadelphia’s pitching coach in 2019, is now bullpen coach for the Chicago Cubs. … Alan Zinter, a former JaxMets catcher, is the new hitting coach in Cincinnati. … Former Biloxi Shuckers pitching coach Chris Hook new fills that role in Milwaukee. … Colorado’s staff includes a pair of JaxMets alums: Dave Magadan is the hitting coach and Ron Gideon the first-base coach. … Laurel native and veteran big league coach Bobby Dickerson is in his first year as bench/infield coach in San Diego.

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