19 seasons of Long Island Ducks baseball have come and gone. Players from all around the world and of all varieties of baseball experience have worn the Ducks uniform since the first pitch on April 28, 2000. In that time, they have played in front of nearly 8 million fans in Central Islip, and millions more around the rest of the country. Those players and coaches have also earned three Atlantic League Championships, seven Division Championships, 13 half-season Division Championships and over 1,300 victories. As the Ducks 20th Anniversary Season, presented by Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, approaches, it is time to determine which members of the Flock have stood above the rest.
The infield has been set on the 20th Anniversary Team thanks to a brilliant first five weeks of voting. Thousands of fans have been casting their ballots weekly, and from catcher to third base, five outstanding players have emerged based upon fan voting. Our focus now shifts to the outfield, where some more Long Island Ducks greats await their fate with regards to being among this select group. The final team will feature four outfield spots, and fans will be able to select one of three nominees each week over the next four rounds of voting to help determine the outfielders. With that in mind, let’s find out our first three outfield nominees:
Long Island’s first-ever Atlantic League championship, which came in 2004, was due in large part to Kimera Bartee. One need only look back to arguably the most famous game in franchise history, on August 9, 2004 at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn. Bartee’s two-run blast in the fifth inning tied their game with the Bluefish at four, and the Ducks would go on to win the game by a run, clinching the first postseason berth in franchise history. Without that homer, who knows if the Ducks become champions that year? Bartee spent two memorable seasons on Long Island, with the first coming a year prior in 2003. The six-year MLB veteran played 116 games that year, totaling a .328 average and finishing second on the team in RBIs (87), runs (86) and hits (147). One year later, those numbers skyrocketed. He led that magical 2004 squad in several offensive categories, including home runs (27), RBIs (88), runs (103) and hits (142). Bartee was a defensive whiz as well, committing just one error in his two seasons with the Flock, a total of 217 games spent in the outfield. Bartee earned an Atlantic League All-Star Game selection that year as well before going on to earn a ring in his final season of pro baseball. Currently, he serves as the Pittsburgh Pirates first base coach.
Ducks fans have always seemed to gravitate towards Long Island natives who have come to play for the team. In three seasons with the club, Smithtown native Dominick Ambrosini was certainly beloved among the Faithful Flock. A sixth round draft pick out of Connetquot High School in 1999, the versatile outfielder came back to play for his hometown team in 2005 and immediately made an impact. He hit .288 with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs over 108 games played with the Ducks, helping the franchise to a second consecutive playoff berth. One year later, Ambrosini again led the Ducks to the playoffs, totaling 79 hits in 64 games played along with a .317 batting average, eight homers and 48 RBIs. He made just six errors over those two seasons as well. Ambrosini struggled at the outset of the 2007 season before eventually finishing his career with the Lancaster Barnstormers that year. However his time with the Ducks was certainly memorable for the fans who watched him play and for the scrappy outfielder who got to live out the dream of playing in front of family and friends on a nightly basis.
Another fan favorite rounds out our three nominees for the week. After narrowly missing out on a Championship Series appearance in 2009, the Ducks fortified their outfield heading into 2010 with Matt Esquivel, who had impressed offensively over his two previous seasons while with the York Revolution. His prowess with the bat continued in 2010, as he led the Flock with 17 home runs, 132 hits, 85 runs and 28 doubles in a team-high 127 games played. After hitting .281 during his first season with the Ducks, the number ballooned up to .328 in 2011 on a team loaded with offensive talent. Esquivel accrued a .420 on-base percentage, 15 homers, 69 RBIs, 65 runs and 109 hits while leading the Ducks to a Liberty Division Championship. That same season, he was selected to play in the Atlantic League All-Star Game and won the pre-game Home Run Derby in front of his former fan base in York. Injuries limited Esquivel to just 64 games in 2012, but he scored one of the most important runs in team history. After drawing a one-out walk in the ninth inning of Game Five during the Atlantic League Championship Series, Esquivel later scampered home from third base with the winning run on Dan Lyons’ famous bunt down the third base line. Not a bad way to end your professional career!
The first three of ultimately 12 outfield nominees have been revealed. Now, it’s time for you, the fans, to help determine whether Bartee, Ambrosini or Esquivel will get a spot on the 20th Anniversary Team. Visit our voting page by clicking the link below and selecting one of the three candidates; You can vote as often as you’d like over the next week. The winner, along with the remainder of the 20th Anniversary Team, will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2019 season!
Be sure to check back again next week, as we’ll reveal our next three nominees for an outfield position.
Kimera Bartee’s journey to the Major Leagues took nearly 24 years from July 21, 1972, the day he was born in Omaha, Nebraska. The dream of reaching the game’s highest level became closer to reality when he was draft by the Baltimore Orioles in 1993. His journey included many twists and turns, such as when he was traded from the Orioles to the Twins in September of 1995, only to be taken back by the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft less than three months later. He went on to make the Opening Day roster for the 1996 season, but as a member of the Detroit Tigers after they claimed him off waivers from the O’s. Bartee’s journey to the top was complete, and he would go on to play in parts of six seasons in the Majors, spanning a total of 243 games with three different clubs.
After the outfielder spent 12 games in 2001 with the Colorado Rockies, he was assigned to Triple-A Colorado Springs. The Rockies eventually released him following that year, and after an up-and-down 2002 campaign in the Cubs organization, he found himself out of affiliated baseball. In hopes of keeping that Major League dream alive, Bartee signed with the Ducks in 2003 and went on to become one of the most notable names in franchise history. In his first year, he batted .328 with eight home runs and 87 RBI over 116 games. Although Long Island missed the postseason, he had firmly earned his place on the roster. The following season, he clubbed 27 homers, none bigger than his two-run blast on August 9, 2004 that helped the Ducks defeat the Bluefish to clinch their first-ever postseason berth. He was selected to play in the All-Star Game that season as well and went on to help Long Island clinch its first Atlantic League championship that September.
Bartee would retire from playing professionally following the season, going out as a champion. However, that did not stop him from keeping his dream of returning to the big leagues alive. He went on to spend three seasons as a minor league coach for the organization that drafted him, serving as a coach for the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds. His career then took him to the Pirates, where he would spend the next nine seasons, primarily as an outfield and baserunning coordinator for the organization. His experience in that role, as well as in one season as manager of the State College Spikes, has helped the Pirates regain its place among the top organizations in baseball. In addition, it has now given Bartee another opportunity in “The Show.”
The Pirates announced recently that Bartee would be added to the Major League coaching staff for the 2017 season in the role of first base coach. In addition, he will continue to work on the two areas that have helped him to this point, serving as the team’s outfield and baserunning coach. 21 years after opening the 1996 season in the big leagues, Bartee will be doing the same to start the 2017 campaign.
We had the chance to catch up with the Ducks’ All-Time Team member recently:
What does it mean to you to make it back to the Major League level, this time as a coach?
“It’s just as exciting as when I was a player. Any time you set a goal and reach that goal, it’s exciting, it’s humbling and it’s everything you want it to be. It’s right up there from when I made my debut as a player, so I’m excited!”
How excited are you to coach many players you have already crossed paths with?
“I’ll be working with a lot of guys who I, for lack of a better term, had a hand in raising. We were a struggling organization when I came in nine years ago, so it’s fun to see where we have gone. Our goal is still to bring home a championship, but the fact that we are up there and in contention, year in and year out, makes it fun.”
What was the best part of that magical 2004 season with the Ducks?
“The individual accolades were okay, but the camaraderie with that team was so unforgettable. I still have relationships with a lot of those guys to this day. Just the fact that we did it as a team; It was well-documented that year how close-knit of a team we were. It wasn’t your typical independent team where guys came in trying to get a job somewhere else. We all came in that year with a mission, and we all wanted to get rings. We talked about it the year before when we came up short of the playoffs, and a lot of us came back. Credit to the Ducks organization too for making some key acquisitions to have it all gel together. Some of the players that did leave to go to organizations made the commitment to come back to the Ducks if they didn’t get a big league call-up. Every one of those guys made their actions match their words. Everything that we all did individually was all for the betterment of the team.”
Which of your teammates to you still have a close bond with today?
“Patrick Lennon, Doug Jennings, Justin Davies, Bill Pulsipher, Jason Johnson, Kevin Baez obviously. I still keep in contact with Buddy Harrelson too; the list goes on and on. There are a lot of us that are still around the game today. Those are just a few, and if there was an opportunity to meet up with them all, I would do it in a heartbeat.”
How influential has a close friend and teammate like Justin been on you?
“Justin embodies the phrase ‘every day.’ When I think of him, I think of that. He showed up every day ready to play and was ready to give his best every day. I take a lot from him, I learned a lot from him and I continue to do things with his mindset in my mind. I take pride in showing up every day for my job, and I got that from Justin Davies. The fact that he’s out in North Carolina protecting people as a police officer doesn’t surprise me one bit. If I had to sum up Justin in one phrase, it would be ‘every day.’”
You came back to Bethpage Ballpark in 2009 for the 10th Anniversary Celebration and again in 2013 for Kimera Bartee Night. How welcome did you feel so many years after playing for the Ducks?
“That experience was humbling, just the fact that they recognized me, remembered me and embraced me. It’s always going to be a home away from home. From the moment I got there, the way the fans and the city embraced me, and even my teammates and adversaries. How they all understood that what we were doing was special here was humbling. I loved the experience that I had in Long Island. The fact that I was invited back and recognized with the ovations was humbling. They treated me like I was a son. I enjoyed every bit of it, and hopefully I can get back there again soon.”
How special was it that your first coaching opportunity came with the team that drafted you?
“It’s kind of a funny story. I wasn’t necessarily looking to coach at the time. I was just calling around to see if there was any interest in me actually playing. The Orioles called back and offered a job as a hitting coach. They just had some changes with their staff, and they had a hitting coach job available in Delmarva. There are things in life that put you in the right place at the right time, and things just happened to work out that way. Now, almost 12 years from that point, I’m where I am today.”
What have you noticed that has enabled the Pirates to be more successful in recent years?
“Probably the ‘buy-in’ and the culture. We (Executive Vice President and General Manager Neal Huntington, Assistant GM Kyle Stark, Chairman of the Board Bob Nutting and President Frank Coonelly) put a culture together nine years ago with the group that came in of ‘changing the world positively through baseball.’ The players and staff started to buy into it and understood what we were trying to do. We were trying to win championships, but there was this bigger goal. We saw this as one of the greatest opportunities in sports to impact the game and reconnect a city with a team and organization because they were disconnected when we came in. That’s been our motivation.”
Seeing the Cubs win World Series this year with a young roster built mainly from within, and being that they’re a division rival, does that give you more motivation going into 2017?
“It definitely puts a target on their back. I’m sure Joe Maddon, Theo Epstein and everyone over there understands that going in. Does it motivate us? Yes, but it doesn’t motivate us any more than we already were. Our goal was to build a sustainable championship team that can last for several years. We are at that point now. They have taken it to a point where we want to be, so they now have what we want. We have 19 games against them. We are their rival in the division and the ones that give them the biggest fits. We like to battle them, they like to battle us and it may even get chippy at times. At the end of the day, they are our adversaries. We look forward to the challenge, and I’m sure they look forward to it as well. They know they will have a target on their back and that we are coming to get what they’ve got.”
What do you think is going to be the biggest factor in getting you to where they now are?
“Me being the baserunning and outfield guy, I’m going to put it right on the baserunning. If we step up our baserunning as far as aggressiveness, I don’t think it would be a bonus, it’s a necessity. It’s something that we have to do. It’s nothing that we did wrong before, but it’s just something we can probably get better at. Hopefully I can inject some positive influence into the boys and not teach them, but just remind them of what they’re capable of doing. We have a lot of talented position players on this team, and if they’re reminded of some things they can do and how they can do it, I think we can ramp up our game.”
With the beginning of the season less than two months away, voting for the 15th Anniversary Team continues to heat up. With last week’s voting covering the best third basemen in Ducks history, we now officially have our “Flock 15” infield set! Similar to second base, the winner of this position won quite convincingly. Who is that, you ask? You’ll have to wait until Opening Night at Bethpage Ballpark on May 2 to find out.
Now that the infield is finalized, it is time to head to the outfield as we look to complete the position players on the 15th Anniversary Team. We have compiled a list of nine players, all of who have made considerable contributions to the Ducks organization over their respective careers. There will be no distinctions between right fielders, left fielders and center fielders. Instead, fans will be allowed to vote for any three outfielders among the nominees. The top three vote-getters will be added to the already-talented “Flock 15” team.
Many of the outstanding outfielders up for voting are synonymous with marquee moments in Ducks history. Among these nine players are a combined nine Atlantic League championship rings and nine ALPB All-Star game appearances. The list includes one player currently on the 2014 Ducks roster, one who was on the inaugural Ducks team in 2000, and three with Major League experience. All of the candidates are certainly deserving of a spot on the final roster. Here are the choices (in alphabetical order):
One of three players on this list with Major League experience (1996-2001), Bartee made his mark at the Duck Pond during the 2003-04 seasons. The 2004 Atlantic League All-Star’s overall batting average with the Ducks stands at an impressive .324, good for second-best among the outfield nominees. Additionally, the Nebraska native is tied for second amongst the outfield choices in home runs (35) and third in RBI (175). Bartee ranked in the top five in the league in RBI both years he was with the Ducks, and launched 27 home runs in 2004, good for second most in the league. A member of the 2004 Atlantic League championship team, the Creighton alum also stole 48 bases over his two years on Long Island.
While other nominees on this list may have multiple championship rings or multiple ALPB All-Star game selections, Binick is the only one with both. The Hicksville resident was selected to play in the 2011 and 2012 All-Star games while earning championships with Long Island in 2012 and 2013. Over the NYIT alum’s three-year Ducks career, Binick sported a .292 average along with nine home runs, 99 RBI and 78 stolen bases. What truly stand out in Binick’s Ducks career are his 2011 season and overall postseason numbers. In 2011, Binick led the league in batting (.343), steals (42) and on-base percentage (.429). Over three postseasons as a Duck, Binick hit at an impressive .352 clip. Talk about clutch hitting!
Unlike all of the other nominees, Brodin had never played in affiliated baseball before coming to Long Island. It was not until he parlayed his impressive 2013 season with the Ducks into a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, making him the fifth Duck to be signed by an MLB team that season. Acquired by Long Island in July of 2012, Brodin made his presence known, batting .369 with seven RBI in the 2012 postseason, earning a hit in all five games during the Atlantic League Championship Series. The Washington native returned for the 2013 season and hit .307 over 106 games with 11 home runs, 48 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. That earned the College of Charlestown alum an All-Star game selection. Brodin hit .300 over 155 games in his two years with the Ducks.
Davies is the longest tenured Duck on this list by a considerable margin and one of the most beloved by Long Islanders. While born in Thailand, he was adopted as a baby by a Long Island couple and raised on the Island. He grew up in West Babylon and moved to Central Islip when he was a Duck, making him a true “local” player. Davies was also ubiquitous in the community, attending every parade, hospital appearance and school visit there was. On the field, he signed with Long Island for their inaugural 2000 season. Central Islip would be the final stop in Davies’ career, as he spent the next six years with the Ducks. In that time, he amassed one championship (2004), two All-Star selections (2003, ’05), a .273 batting average, the single-season team record for walks (85 in 2002) and a franchise record 149 stolen bases. When he retired, Davies was also the franchise leader in nearly every offensive category. The Queens College alum is known best for delivering two game-winning hits in the 2004 Atlantic League Championship Series, earning himself Series MVP honors and the first ever title for Long Island.
The third-longest tenured nominee (283 games), Esquivel spent three years at the Duck Pond (2010-12). The Texas native is the owner of a.294 batting average with the Ducks and leads all nominees in home runs (36) while ranking second in RBI (176). While the former Atlanta Braves farmhand truly stood out during his first two years on Long Island, including a .328 average in 2011, Esquivel’s marquee Ducks moment came in Game Five of the 2012 Championship Series. With the scored tied at four in the bottom of the ninth, the 2011 All-Star scampered home from third with the series-clinching run on Dan Lyons’ walk-off bunt. It was a moment that has Esquivel etched in Ducks history, forever.
LEWWW!! The iconic former Major Leaguer is the lone nominee that is still a part of the active roster. Ford has already been signed by the Ducks for the 2014 season, his fifth with the organization. Only this time, he returns as a player/coach. The Texas native first came to Long Island in 2009 and immediately experienced success, finishing second in the league in batting (.330). Ford returned to the Island in 2011, and subsequently spent parts of the next two seasons with the Ducks. The long-time Minnesota Twins outfielder began the 2012 season with Long Island before earning a contract with the Baltimore Orioles after a month. By July, he was donning a Major League uniform for the first time in 2007, becoming the 13th player in team history to return to the big leagues after playing with the Ducks. Long Island went on to win the 2012 Atlantic League title, and Ford would be part of another championship with the Flock last year after returning to the team in August. During the 2013 playoffs, he batted .412 and recorded hits in all seven games which he played. Over his four-year Ducks career, Ford owns the franchise record in batting average (.330) along with 24 home runs and 121 RBI.
While Haverbusch is one of only two nominees on this list who did not win a championship with the Ducks, his numbers are still more than enough to earn his place among the choices. Over three seasons with the Flock (2006-08), the Rockville Centre native posted 35 home runs and a nominee-leading 182 RBI. The 35 long-balls ties Haverbusch with Bartee for second-most among “Flock 15” outfield nominees. Additionally, the 2007 All-Star selection recorded a .271 average in his 273 games with Long Island. The long-time Pittsburgh Pirates farmhand’s best season with the Ducks came in 2008, where he hit .289 with 14 home runs and 66 RBI.
Johnson represents our third nominee that was a part of the first Ducks championship team in 2004. A 12th round draft pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1996 draft, Johnson spent three years with the Ducks (2003-05) to finish his professional career. After playing in only 24 games in his first season, Johnson became a major contributor in the Ducks ’04 title run, playing in 100 regular season games. The owner of a career .282 average with the Flock, Johnson finished fourth in the league in steals that season (36). Overall, he stole 56 bases in his Ducks career while adding 16 home runs and 110 RBI. However, the most memorable moment of Johnson’s career on Long Island came at the end of that ’04 season when he caught the final out of the Championship Series, securing Long Island’s first championship trophy.
Our final nominee spent the least amount of time on Long Island but still made a lasting impression on the Faithful Flock. Stocker spent the 2006 season with Ducks, and while he did not win an Atlantic League championship, he put together an outstanding season. The Arizona native set a Ducks record with 56 stolen bases that year, good for second in the league. Additionally, the Arizona State alum hit .303 over 110 games with three home runs, 39 RBI, 19 double and eight triples. Those numbers earned Stocker a 2006 All-Star Game selection and a contract in 2007 with the Milwaukee Brewers organization. By September, he earned a call-up to the big leagues and played in nine games, adding to the list of Ducks who made it back to “The Show” after coming to Long Island.
There it is, fans: your “Flock 15” outfield nominees. Choosing three players out of this impressive list might be your toughest decision yet. Please be sure to vote in the poll below for the three outfielders that you feel are most deserving of a spot. In addition, if you feel we left out someone who should be on the team, you can write in a candidate by selecting ‘Other.’ The 15th Anniversary Team is already loaded with infield talent; now it’s time for you, the fans, to add some talented outfielders to the squad. As for next week, we move on to the designated hitter.
One of the most important parts of the on field mission of the Atlantic League is to provide players with a forum to continue their baseball careers and give them a chance to get back into affiliated baseball and eventually the Major Leagues. The league has had over 600 players throughout its history signed by big league organizations, and the Ducks, for example, have had over 50 signed, with 14 players reaching the Major League level after playing on Long Island. However, not all of those making it back into affiliated baseball are doing so as players.
Several Ducks alumni can now be found in the coaching ranks and front offices of affiliated minor league baseball teams. The newest addition to an affiliated coaching staff was Dan Meyer, who announced last week via Twitter that he had accepted a pitching coach position in the Atlanta Braves organization.
I couldn’t be happier to have accepted a pitching coach position with the Atlanta Braves. Feels great to be back…
— Dan Meyer (@Dmy53) November 19, 2013
Meyer will be the pitching coach with the Danville Braves, who are in the rookie-level Appalachian League and just celebrated their 20th Anniversary this past season. The left-hander actually began his career as a pitcher with Danville in 2002 after getting drafted by the Braves with the 34th overall pick (first round) that same year. He would go on to post a 3-3 record with a 2.74 ERA in 13 starts. Just two years later, he found himself on a Major League mound, pitching a pair of scoreless innings in 2004 with Atlanta.
The New Jersey native ended up making 103 appearances (seven starts) over five big league seasons with the Braves, Athletics and Marlins. He eventually joined the Ducks at the start of the 2012 season and pitched in 18 games (eight starts). Meyer eventually suffered a season-ending injury in July. However, he is not the only former Duck to recently join the coaching ranks of affiliated ball.
One notable former Duck to continue in baseball after playing with the Flock is Jamie Pogue. Long Island’s backstop in 2003, 2007 and 2008 is now the bullpen catcher/catching instructor for the St. Louis Cardinals, a position he has held for the last two seasons. He came within two games of a World Series ring this season as St. Louis went to Game Six of the series before falling to the Boston Red Sox. Pogue played in 245 games over his three seasons with the Ducks and hit .257 with 17 home runs and 85 RBI before retiring as a player. He also spent time in the Atlantic League with the Bridgeport Bluefish and Nashua Pride. In fact, here is a picture of Jamie during the 2013 World Series (photo courtesy of Mike Ashmore):
Morales is currently serving as the bullpen catcher for the Cleveland Indians, who shocked the baseball world in 2013 by reaching the playoffs as one of the American League’s Wild Cards. He spent three seasons as a catcher with the Ducks (2000-02) and was selected to Long Island’s 10th Anniversary All-Time team in 2009. He combined for 63 home runs and 261 RBI in 367 games during that span. Morales spent his third season on the Indians coaching staff in 2013. He began his coaching career in 2006 in the Dominican Summer League academy for the Arizona Diamondbacks, was the hitting coach at rookie-level Yakima in 2007 and spent three seasons from 2008-10 at Class-A South Bend of the Midwest League in the Diamondbacks organization.
Speaking of players selected to the Ducks 10th Anniversary All-Time team, another member that’s now coaching in affiliated ball is Kimera Bartee. The former outfielder is now an outfielder/base running coordinator in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system and recently served as manager of the Class-A State College Spikes in 2011. Bartee played with the Ducks in 2003 and was then a member of Long Island’s 2004 Atlantic League championship squad. In 226 games with the Flock, he hit .324 with 35 home runs and 175 RBI. This past season, the Ducks hosted Kimera Bartee night at Bethpage Ballpark where he was honored before the game and threw out a ceremonial first pitch. The Nebraska native reached the Major League level in 1996 and played four seasons with the Detroit Tigers and one apiece with the Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies.
Add a third member of the All-time Team to this list in closer Bill Simas. The right-hander went from being an integral part of the Ducks bullpen in 2004 and 2009 to a pitching coach in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. In 2013, he was promoted to the staff of the Class-A Great Lakes Loons after spending two seasons with the rookie-level Ogden Raptors. His coaching career actually began with Long Island in 2010 when he served as the pitching coach under Dave LaPoint and was even activated at one point that season to pitch out of the bullpen. For his Ducks career, the right-hander was 9-9 with a 2.59 ERA and a team-record 48 saves. Simas also spent six seasons in the big leagues and compiled a 3.83 ERA and 23 saves in 308 games with the Chicago White Sox.
Simontacchi, a former Major Leaguer and Ducks pitcher in 2008, can now be found in Peoria, Illinois as the pitching coach for the Class-A Peoria Chiefs in the Cardinals organization. His pitching staff finished the 2013 campaign with the Midwest League’s second-best ERA at 3.54. With the Ducks in 2008, the righty pitched in seven games (three starts) and posted a 6.11 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 17 and two-thirds innings. He also spent the 2010 season with the Lancaster Barnstormers before deciding to retire. In the Major Leagues, he spent three seasons with the Cardinals, including the 2004 National League championship campaign, and one year with the Washington Nationals. He pitching in 93 games (53 starts) and had a 5.09 ERA.
One of the keys to the 2011 Long Island Ducks was catcher J.R. House, and he is currently the hitting coach for the Hillsboro Hops, the class-A short season affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. House tore it up at the plate with the Ducks, batting .305 with 19 home runs and 81 RBI, one of the best seasons ever by a Ducks catcher. He led a dominant Long Island pitching staff to their first division playoff title and Championship Series appearance since 2004. After retiring following the 2011 campaign, he joined the Diamondbacks as the hitting coach with their rookie-level affiliate, Missoula. The former big leaguer, who spent parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles, helped lead the Osprey to the 2012 Pioneer League championship.
UPDATE: J.R. House has been promoted to manager of the Class-A Hillsboro Hops for the 2014 season, according to Jamie Quinn.
Jamie Quinn signed on at the beginning of the 2013 season as a minor league video coordinator with the Diamondbacks. He served as the team’s bullpen catcher in 2009 and 2010 before becoming the bullpen coach in 2011 and 2012. During his four seasons, Quinn helped prepare a Ducks pitching staff that earned three postseason berths, two Liberty Division championships and an Atlantic League championship. He also received an opportunity to get some playing time in 2010, appearing in five games.
Congratulations to Dan Meyer on the new position and the best of luck to all of the other former Ducks in coaching or front office positions with affiliated teams around baseball. It’s always exciting to see former Ducks players living their dream of returning to affiliated baseball, whether as a player or a coach. If you know of any other Ducks alumni who are currently serving as a coach in a Major League organization, please leave us a comment on this story or send us a contact form.