Morandini set to start his career as a skipper
More than 20 years ago, Leechburg native Mickey Morandini started the journey to make his dream of becoming a major leaguer come true.
Friday, Morandini will begin working with another group of players who have similar dreams.
The 1984 Leechburg graduate and 1988 U.S. Olympic gold medalist will make his debut as a professional manager with the Williamsport Crosscutters, a short-season Single-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Williamsport will open its season at home against the State College Spikes, a Pirates affiliate, at 7:05 p.m. at Bowman Field.
"It's exciting; I'm really looking forward to it," said Morandini after a lengthy workout Wednesday afternoon.
Since March, Morandini has been working with prospects at extended spring training camp in Clearwater, Fla.
"We've been preparing for this since March 1," Morandini said. "We have maybe 15-18 players from extended spring, and we have about nine or 10 draft picks from last week."
Morandini represented the Phillies last week at the first-year player draft, much like Steve Blass and Bill Mazeroski have done for the Pirates.
"That was neat. It was really an honor to be able to go there as part of an organization I spent a lot of my career with," Morandini said. "I drove over to Secaucus, N.J., and got to see a lot of guys I played against."
Morandini replaces Williamsport manager Chris Truby, a former Pirates farmhand who was promoted to the Lakewood BlueClaws of the South Atlantic League.
At the short-season Single-A level, a manager's challenge is try to win games while, more importantly, developing players.
"It's a fine line," Morandini said. "You want to win any time you go between those white lines, but you want your players to get to that next level."
Drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round in 1988, Morandini became the highest-drafted local player until last week when Plum's Scott McGough was selected by the Dodgers — also in the fifth round.
Morandini played 1,298 games during his 11-year big league career, including the 1993 World Series with the Phillies.
He's a 2005 A-K Sports Hall of Fame inductee.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- South Butler students push composting as a way to slow food waste
- School lunch group hopes to revise rules it calls impractical, too restrictive
- Miami (Fla.) gets prepared to take on ‘physical’ Pitt team
- Amazon raises bar for other retailers with same-day delivery
- Steelers notebook: Linebacker Timmons hoping for contract extension
- Western Pa. dairies get creative to ensure eggnog supply
- Holiday shopping season off to early start in Mon Valley
- Penguins 4th line is showing promise
- Western Pa. students bristle at changing menu choices
- Chicago police videos of black teen McDonald’s death lack sounds; protests planned for ‘Black Friday’
- Mon City man arrested for alleged assault