Coaching Staff

Greg Tagert

Manager

In the 15 years of RailCats baseball, one man has guided the franchise to its greatest success on the shores of Lake Michigan: Greg Tagert. The winningest skipper in team history, Tagert will return for his 12th season on the South Shore in 2016. Tagert guided the club to a 45-55 mark last season and notched his historic 1000th win as a manager on the final day of the season in a comeback win over Kansas City on September 7th, 2015.  From 1995 until 2014 he accomplished a remarkable streak of 19 seasons of never having one of his clubs finish below .500.

The California native has made his name in baseball by building teams not just on talent and by valuing character as much as on-field ability.  The results have produced teams that play with an uncanny knack for pulling out wins late and with a steadfast refusal to quit. Tagert’s RailCats had a remarkable 6-0 finish in Game Five (the decisive game) in the Northern League Playoffs and faced elimination in six of their seven all-time playoff series wins. 

Tagert builds his clubs from players that fit a certain set of characteristics, characteristics that not all clubs look for when building a roster. RailCats players tend to be four-year college players who were standouts at their schools but who may have been overlooked by scouts. Over the years, the average RailCat has earned his college diploma, and when his playing days are over, he takes his RailCat experience on to success in various areas of society. It has been said that the RailCats boast the most degrees in the world of sports!

In 20 seasons as a manager, the two-time Northern League Manager of the Year (2007, 2009), Tagert has had a winning record in 18 of 20 seasons in the dugout. In 2012, the 'Cats finished 50-50, the first time in Tagert's career that his team did not have a winning record, and last season Tagert finished below .500, a rare finish for the RailCats mananger.

Aside from producing winners with the RailCats, Tagert has also guided 20 of his RailCats charges to affiliated baseball, including 2006 RailCats outfielder Nathan Haynes who played in the Major Leagues with the Los Angeles Angels and Tampa Bay Rays from 2007-08. In the last year alone, the RailCats have seen three players head to affiliated ball. Tagert has also mentored three Northern League Pitchers of the Year, a Northern League Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Relief Pitcher of the Year, five Baseball America All-Independent Leagues selections, eight full-season Northern League All-Stars, and two full-season American Association All-Stars.

The 2014 season saw “skip” guide the RailCats to within one game of the post season going 53-47 following the championship season of 2013. In 2013, Tagert led the RailCats to the American Association Championship and his first American Association pennant in a 64 game win season that included wrapping up the title on the road at Wichita. Tagert guided the ‘Cats to six consecutive playoff appearances from 2005 to 2010, including five straight trips to the Northern League Championship Series from 2005-2009 and two league titles in 2005 and 2007. He enters the 2016 season with 1000 career wins, and he hit the 500 career victories mark as the RailCats skipper in a 6-0 shutout at Sioux City June 4th, 2014.

The 2013 Championship season may be remembered as the ultimate Tagert-style team. The RailCats came into the post season with the league’s third best record, earning the Wild Card slot. They may have lacked the glamour of the other clubs, but the team built on outstanding starting pitching and a timely fundamental offensive approach and earned the Championship Trophy in their first appearance in the American Association postseason when the RailCats defeated the Wichita Wingnuts in four games in the Championship Series and earned their first championship since 2007.

In 2012, the RailCats finished strong but missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The 'Cats went 34-22 from July 4 through the end of the season, including 19-9 in August, the second-best record in the American Association over that stretch. On May 30, the RailCats beat Sioux Falls 8-4 at U. S. Steel Yard for Tagert's 800th career win. On July 6 at Sioux City, the RailCats routed the Explorers 13-3 for Tagert's 400th victory as the team's skipper.

Tagert's RailCats made the playoffs in his first six seasons as manager and made a valiant effort at making it seven straight in 2011. Despite a 54-46 record, Gary fell a game short of Central Division Champion Wichita in their first season in the American Association.

The 2010 RailCats battled through injuries all year long, but sure enough, found themselves in the playoffs yet again. Powered by Northern League Pitcher-of-the-Year Willie Glen who returned to the 'Cats after spending his prior two seasons in the Florida Marlins system and who had celebrated an eight game win streak in early August. With Glen on the mound, the RailCats clinched their sixth consecutive playoff berth before being bounced by the eventual champion, the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.

The 2009 RailCats posted the best regular-season record in the Northern League (57-39), the second time they have done so in the last three seasons.  The RailCats had to dig out of an early hole to rally to the top of the league, going 42-18 over the last 60 games of the season after starting 17-21.  The ‘Cats revival was buoyed by the resurgence of starter Tony Cogan who went on a record 28.2 inning scoreless streak en route to being named the Northern League’s best left-handed pitcher.

The 2008 RailCats were Tagert’s best offensive team, setting a litany of team records and breaking the Northern League record for hits in a single season (1,057).  That club featured Northern League Player-of- the-Year Tanner Townsend and went 56-40, finishing second in the league.  The RailCats once again won a semifinal playoff series (besting Winnipeg 3-1) before falling two wins short of a third title.

Tagert arrived in Northwest Indiana in 2005, taking over a team that had set a league record for losses the previous season. Tagert’s impact was immediate and the turnaround was impressive, as the RailCats made the playoffs and won back-to-back five game series to win the Northern League Championship.  After taking the RailCats to the brink of a title in 2006, the 2007 ‘Cats dominated the circuit with a 58-38 regular-season record and went on to win the title in another dramatic five-game series.

A longtime Frontier League Manager, Tagert has a .547 lifetime regular-season winning percentage (1000-828). He is 539-494 (.522) since taking over as the RailCats manager in 2005 and has a 30-27 mark in the postseason. Originally from Vacaville, California, Tagert worked as a scout for the Detroit Tigers and as a collegiate pitching coach before becoming a professional manager. Tagert and his wife Mary now reside in Northwest Indiana. They are the proud parents of sons Ben, Josh, and Sam and daughter Elaine.

 

Year

Tm

Lg

Lev

 

 

G

W

L

W-L%

1995

Ohio Valley

FRON

Ind

 

 

70

36

34

.514

       

 

 

       

1997

Evansville

FRON

Ind

 

 

79

46

33

.582

1998

Evansville

FRON

Ind

 

 

79

43

36

.544

1999

Evansville

FRON

Ind

 

 

84

43

41

.512

2000

Evansville

FRON

Ind

 

 

83

45

38

.542

2001

Dubois County

FRON

Ind

 

 

84

48

36

.571

2002

Dubois County

FRON

Ind

 

 

84

52

32

.619

2003

Kenosha

FRON

Ind

 

 

89

47

42

.528

2004

Springfield/Ozark

FRON

Ind

 

 

96

52

44

.542

2005

Gary (6-4)

NORL

Ind

 

 

96

54

42

.563

2006

Gary (4-5)

NORL

Ind

 

 

97

51

46

.526

2007

Gary (6-4)

NORL

Ind

 

 

96

58

38

.604

2008

Gary (4-4)

NORL

Ind

 

 

96

56

40

.583

2009

Gary (4-5)

NORL

Ind

 

 

96

57

39

.594

2010

Gary (0-3)

NORL

Ind

 

 

100

52

48

.520

2011

Gary

AA

Ind

 

 

100

54

46

.540

2012

Gary

AA

Ind

 

 

100

50

50

.500

2013

Gary (6-2)

AA

Ind

 

 

99

58

41

.586

2014

Gary

AA

Ind

 

 

100

53

47

.530

2015

Gary

AA

Ind

 

 

100

45

55

.450

 

1828

1000

828

.547

                       

 

About the Railcats

A day at U.S. Steel yard is non-stop fun, and that's even without the baseball! The RailCats promise a wide array of laugh-out-loud between inning entertainment, great giveaways , jaw-dropping fireworks and a family-first, kid-friendly atmosphere! RailCats fans come in all ages, shapes, and sizes, and the RailCats promise every fan will have fun. 

Find Us

U.S. Steel Yard
One Stadium Plaza
Gary, IN 46402
219.882.2255