The Tulsa Drillers, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, announced that manager Scott Hennessey will return for his fifth season with the club.
Hennessey has been with the Drillers since taking over during the 2017 season. He’s collected 258 career wins during that time, which is the sixth-most in the 108-season history of the Drillers.
Hennessey’s win total includes 16 postseason victories which places him second among all Tulsa managers. The only Drillers’ manager with more is Al Vincent, who won 23 postseason games with Tulsa from 1948-1951.
“I am looking forward to being back with the Drillers this season,” Hennessey said in a statement. “Tulsa is a great city with a rich baseball history, and the fans are always so supportive. We should have a talented team again this season that will make for another exciting summer at ONEOK Field, and I cannot wait to get started.”
The Drillers have finished above .500 in four straight seasons under Hennessey, and a winning campaign in 2022 would tie the club record set from 2002-06 for their longest such stretch in franchise history.
The Dodgers’ player development system has been among the best in sports and Hennesey and his coaching staff has helped develop multiple prospects, such as Walker Buehler, Will Smith, Dustin May, Gavin Lux, Matt Beaty and Victor Gonzalez.
Hennessey is scheduled to travel to Arizona in early February to begin Spring Training workouts in preparation for the 2022 season. Even if the Major League lockout continues, the Minor Leagues will play their seasons as scheduled.
The Drillers open their season in Wichita on April 8 and they make their home debut on April 12 against Amarillo.
Rachel Balkovec appreciative of Dodgers part-owner Billie Jean King
The New York Yankees made history earlier this month as they hired Rachel Balkovec to manage the Low-A Tampa Tarpons. Balkovec is the first full-time female manager in the history of affiliated baseball at the Major or Minor League levels.
With the historic promotion, Balkovec was congratulated by many throughout the sport, but hearing from Dodgers part-owner Billie Jean King is something that meant a lot to her.
“It’s like, ‘OK, I can die now. My career is over. Billie Jean King congratulated me,’” Balkovec recently said. “And also Jean Afterman is someone that’s in the game, in our organization, someone that I’ve looked up to for a long time, and reaches out.
“Those things mean a lot. It makes all the difficult times really worth it to know that you are paying it forward. What they did for me, I’m able to do for somebody else.”
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