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Baseball lifer tapped to be Goldeyes new field manager

Former RailCats boss Tagert hired following Forney’s departure

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The Winnipeg Goldeyes’ two-month search for a new skipper is over after the hiring of baseball lifer Greg Tagert.

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The Winnipeg Goldeyes’ two-month search for a new skipper is over after the hiring of baseball lifer Greg Tagert.

On Thursday, the pro squad announced he will come aboard for the 2023 American Association season. He’s the fourth field manager in team history.

Tagert, 59, has been around the block once or twice in his 27-year career, most notably leading the Gary SouthShore RailCats from 2005-2021 — a stint that dates back to the days coaching against the Goldeyes in the Northern League.

Greg Tagert is Winnipeg Goldeyes new field manager.

After spending last season with the San Fransisco Giants organization in the Arizona Complex League, Tagert heads north of the border, well aware of the gaping hole he’s tasked to fill in Manitoba’s capital, left behind by Rick Forney, who led the Fish for 26 years — and won three championships — before resigning in October.

“It’s a great privilege to follow in the footsteps of my dear friend, Rick Forney, whose teams set a standard by which every other club is measured,” Tagert said, in press-release statement. “It’s an honour to be associated with Rick, Hal Lanier, and Doug Simunic.”

Tagert will speak to media by Zoom call in the coming days, the team said.

The product of Vacaville, Calif., brings a championship pedigree to the organization.

Tagert owns an all-time managerial record of 1,265-1,117 (.531) and is one of six managers in the history of modern independent baseball (1993-present) to win 1,000-plus games.

A two-time manager of the year award winner in the Northern League, Tagert led the RailCats to 12 winning seasons, nine playoff appearances and three titles (2005 and 2007 in the Northern League, 2013 in the American Association) over 16 campaigns with the franchise.

“Finding the right individual to take over for Rick Forney was definitely a major challenge,” said Goldeyes’ owner Sam Katz, in a statement. “With Greg Tagert filling the position, that challenge has been met.

“I am thrilled Greg will be our manager, and humbled he left a position with a Major League organization to join the Goldeyes. His reputation, credibility, and success in baseball are a perfect fit for the Goldeyes.”

Before his tenure in Gary, Tagert made his debut in the Frontier League, where he spent a league-record nine seasons managing from 1995-2004. The skipper departed as the winningest manager in league history and is still tied for the most playoff appearances (five). He was voted manager of the year in 2001 with the Dubois County Dragons.

Tagert’s 15 playoff appearances in 27 years certainly bode well for a Goldeyes team that’s hoping to restore some consistency that’s escaped the franchise in recent years. The Fish ended a five-year playoff drought last season before falling 2-1 in the first round against the top-seeded Fargo-Moorehead RedHawks.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled and proud to be part of the Goldeyes,” Tagert said. “I didn’t envision returning to manage another club. However, the Goldeyes are truly unique. Sam’s ownership and the guidance under Andrew (Collier) and his staff have been a remarkable example of consistent success throughout the years.”

Tagert will begin his tenure with the Goldeyes back in Indiana on May 11, when the Fish open the 2023 campaign against his old club, Gary SouthShore.

Winnipeg has its home opener Friday, May 19 when the Lake Country DockHounds visit Shaw Park.

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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