MLB: Eric Wedge
There are few who would be up to the challenge of taking over as the skipper of the eternal struggling Seattle Mariners. Eric Wedge did.
Born: January 27th, 1968 (age 43)
Place of birth: Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.A.
2007 AL Manager of the Year
He even showed his full investment by uprooting his family to live and breathe in the moist Seattle air.
These are facts that say a lot about his no nonsense and hardworking determination.
This determination is seen as fierce intensity on the field and with the media.
The guy was not hired for his eloquence, but for his grit. Off the field however, Eric is a compassionate person that continues to pour back into the community.
In his home town of Fort Wayne, Indiana he runs an annual Baseball clinic for local youth. In the Boston area where Wedge was drafted, he has been part owner of Strike One Baseball Complex for the past 15 years.
The facility closed in 2011 and it could be seen that Wedge is consolidating his efforts to be a part of the Northwest community.
Wedge took to baseball early by converting his parent’s garage into a batting cage and leading the game well. His toughness and leadership were seen through high school and college making him a natural choice for catcher.
During in tenure at Wichita State University (1987-1989) Wedge was described as the heart and soul of the team.
His college career is highlighted in the 1989 season when he hit .380 with 23 home runs, 99 RBI and a NCAA record setting 88 walks.
The 1989 Season would end with the Shockers winning the national championship and Wedge being drafted in the 3rd round (83rd overall) by the Boston Red Sox.
After moving up through the minors Wedge made his debut in Boston in 1991, but appeared in only 28 games before being selected by the Rockies in the expansion draft in 1992. Wedge faced multiple elbow issues and was released.
Boston gave him another look in 1994 but he would not play another major league game before retiring in 1997.
After playing in a total of 39 big league games an average of .233 with 5 home runs and 8 surgeries.
Wedge announced his intentions of a managerial career.
In 1998, Mark Shapiro, then Cleveland Indians farm director, hired Wedge to manage the single A Columbus Redstixx.
By 2002 Wedge had managed all the way through the Indians farm system gaining Manager of the Year awards from Carolina League, International League, Baseball America and The Sporting News.
The Indians gave 35 year old Wedge the reigns of their big league club.
Wedge did well with 2007 being the jewel year when he led the Indians to a first place finish and A.L. Manger of the Year award.
Good memories fade quickly in baseball, though, as he was fired in 2009 the Indians.
In 2010 he was hired by Seattle and the front office and fans alike are excited to see if he can work his managerial magic again.