11/14/2016 3:13 PM -
GARY, IN – The American Association of Professional Baseball announced today that Gary SouthShore RailCats manager Greg Tagert is the league’s Manager of the Year. This is Tagert’s third Manager of the Year Award with the RailCats, winning the honor in 2007 and 2009 when the franchise was in the Northern League. Field managers and media from all 12 American Association clubs voted on the award.
Tagert led the RailCats to a 51-47 record with two games remaining in the season. This is Tagert’s 12th season as manager on the South Shore and has guided the team to a .500 or better winning percentage in all but one season. His record as RailCats manager is 669-519 (.563).
The success of the 2016 team is a testament to Tagert’s hard work. The club rebounded from Tagert’s worst record as a manager last season, 45-55. It was the only season a Tagert-led team finished with a losing record. The RailCats also overcame the loss of key players to major league organizations and a barrage of injuries. Four RailCats had their contracts purchased by affiliated teams in 2016, one of the highest totals in the league. Six players have been signed away from the club since the completion of the 2015 season. Additionally, important contributors like starting pitcher Karl Triana and outfielder Cameron Newell were lost to injury down the stretch run of the season.
The RailCats are tied for second in the Central Division and are one game back of the division leading Sioux City Explorers. Tagert led the club to a 19-13 record in the division, the highest win total in the four-team section. The RailCats won 10 out of 11 games in August and put together a six-game tear from August 16-21st. The team won six consecutive series in June and have a chance to finish the season 16-11-2 in series.
Gary SouthShore RailCats General Manager Brian Lyter felt Tagert was deserving of the award. In a statement, Lyter said, “Congratulations to our manager, Greg Tagert, on being named 2016 American Association Manager of the Year! It is an accolade that is well deserved, as he maneuvered our team through the season with losing players to major league organizations and injury, while keeping the RailCat right in the thick of the playoff chase. The influx of young talent he brought in to go along with our veteran players has made this team very exciting to watch this season.”
Tagert, from Vacaville, California, recorded his 1,000th win as a manager last season and boasts a career record of 1051-875. He is a three-time league champion, winning the title in 2005, 2007 and 2013. “Skip” 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 the Northern League Championship.
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.
There will be an on-field ceremony honoring Tagert and Defensive Player of the Year Jose Gonzalez before Monday’s game, the final game of the regular season. For more information on the Gary SouthShore RailCats call 219-882-2255 or visit railcatsbaseball.com.
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