The Augusta GreenJackets will have their own "Whitey" on the bench next season.
No, not former Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford or ex-major-league manager Whitey Herzog. But former major-league infielder Jeff "Whitey" Richardson. The parent Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Monday that Richardson will manage their South Atlantic League Class A club next season.
Richardson, a 31-year-old native of Grand Island, Nebraska, was the manager of the Erie (Pa.) SeaWolves of the New York/Penn League last season. The SeaWolves finished 30-46.
Richardson was drafted out of Louisiana Tech by the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh round of the 1987 draft and made his major-league debut with the Reds in 1989 as a shortstop and third baseman. He started 33 games at shortstop after injuries sidelined Barry Larkin and Mariano Duncan. In 53 games in 1989, Richardson batted .168 with two home runs and 11 RBI.
Richardson was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in a trade for Billy Hatcher before the 1990 season, when the Reds won the World Series. Richardson played in six games with the Pirates in 1991 to complete his major-league career with a .171 batting average, two homers and 11 RBI in 59 games.
He was traded to Boston in 1993, played in the St. Louis Cardinals organization in 1994 and signed with the Pirates again in 1995. After seven games at Class AAA Calgary, Richardson retired to become a coach with the Lynchburg (Va.) Hillcats of the Class A Carolina League.
Richardson succeeds Jay Loviglio, who led the GreenJackets into the playoffs last season. Loviglio will not manage next season, according to the Pirates, but will assume a role in the organization that includes scouting.
The GreenJackets also named Scott Lovekamp as the pitching coach and Scott Little, the team manager in 1992 and '94, will be back for a second straight season as the hitting instructor. Lovekamp is a former scout and college pitching coach who pitched in the San Diego Padres organization. Mike Sandoval, Augusta's trainer in 1989 and 1996, will also be back.
The GreenJackets open the season April 3-6 at Lake Olmstead Stadium, with the finale being a 2:30 p.m., game on Sunday before Masters Week. On Tuesday, April 8, the Savannah Sand Gnats, the defending SAL champions, visit Lake Olmstead for a doubleheader, two days before the Masters Tournament begins. In addition, the GreenJackets will host the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on June 17.
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