WEATHER ALERT

Forney resigns after 26 years with Goldeyes

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Rick Forney has managed his last game for the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

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Rick Forney has managed his last game for the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

Forney informed the club of his resignation after accepting a field manager position with York Revolution of the Atlantic League, the Goldeyes announced Monday.

The move is a step up in the ranks and a logical decision geographically for the 51-year-old. The Revolution plays out of York, Pa., a little more than an hour away from Forney’s home in Maryland.

Rick Forney has accepted a field manager position with York Revolution of the Atlantic League. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press files)

“When Erika (Forney’s wife) and I arrived for my first season in 1997, bringing three-week-old David, we never dreamed that we would raise all four children in Winnipeg over the next 26 years,” Forney said, in a message to the organization and fan base.

“Winnipeg became our second home and embraced us fully with love and open arms. The summers spent together with our extended Winnipeg family hold memories that we will forever cherish!”

The Goldeyes’ search for a replacement has already begun, the club said.

Forney’s run in Manitoba’s capital ends after 26 years in total with the Fish, including 17 as manager, tallying an 887-753 (.541) regular-season record (fifth-highest winning percentage in league history), 13 winning seasons and a record three American Association championships (2012, 2016, 2017).

“Rick has done as much for this organization as anyone,” said Goldeyes’ general manager Andrew Collier in a news release on Monday. “He led us to three championships and multiple playoff appearances. He is not only our field manager, but one of my closest friends.”

“I’ll miss him, but I’m happy that he will be able to continue doing what he loves, and at the same time, be closer to his family. I wish nothing but the best for Rick as he begins the next chapter of his life as the manager of the York Revolution.”

Forney first joined the club as a pitcher in 1997 after reaching as high as the triple-A level in the Baltimore Orioles system and double-A in the Atlanta Braves pipeline. He would find his greatest success in Winnipeg, however, finishing his playing career in 2000 as the franchise record holder in wins, strikeouts, games started, and innings pitched.

After a stint as the club’s pitching coach, Forney took over as bench boss in 2006, succeeding Hal Lanier, who had held the position for 10 seasons.

Forney was voted AA manager of the year twice (2011, 2020) and helped 12 pitchers – 43 players in total – sign with MLB clubs.

“When I hired Rick to manage the Winnipeg Goldeyes 17 years ago, there were many individuals who asked the question, ‘Is he ready?” said Goldeyes’ owner Sam Katz, in Monday’s news release.

“Those questions were quickly answered. He was more than ready, and he proved that on and off the field with his many accomplishments. Rick was a player, coach, and manager for the Goldeyes. Most importantly, he was a dear friend, as was his wife and partner, Erika. Their support for each other had no limits.”

jfreysam@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @jfreysam

Joshua Frey-Sam

Joshua Frey-Sam
Reporter

Joshua Frey-Sam happily welcomes a spirited sports debate any day of the week.

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