Sunday’s winner was Tom Brookens, in the closest vote yet. Brookens will go on to face Aubrey Huff in the second round.
Frank Menechino vs. Kirt Manwaring: two guys still coaching in MLB!
- Menechino played in Harrisonburg in 1992. Eventually drafted out of Alabama in the 45th round in 1993, Menechino didn’t make his major league debut until 1999, when he was 28 years old. His versatility in the infield (he played second, short, and third) helped him carve out a seven-year career, five of which were with the Oakland A’s. He spent his last two seasons (in the majors) with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2001, he played in 139 games, and had 578 plate appearances. He slashed .242/.369/.374, with 22 doubles and 12 home runs. After his playing career, he started coaching right away, spending time in the minors with the Yankees, and five seasons as the Miami Marlins’ hitting coach (2013-2018). He was the Triple-A hitting coach for the Chicago White Sox in 2019, and was promoted to the major league club’s hitting coach for 2020.
- Manwaring played in Harrisonburg when he was a student at Coastal Carolina in the mid-80’s. The San Francisco Giants picked him in the 2nd round of the 1986 draft- and he made his major league debut just a year later, in 1987. Known as an excellent defensive catcher, Manwaring won a Gold Glove in 1993, after leading the league in defensive WAR with 2.4. He led the league in caught stealing pecentage in both 1992 and 1993, and led in double plays turned (as a C) in 1992 and 1994. He played a total of 13 years, hitting a combined .246/.311/.318 in almost 3,000 at-bats. He played in the 1989 World Series with the Giants, doubling in his only at-bat. He is currently a catching instructor for the Giants.
Vote by going to twitter.com/JohnATVL to vote! (Closes Tuesday morning)
And by the way, if you want to read much, much more about the 2019 VBL season, be sure to check out the 2019 Valley League Annual!