Rick Forney will continue to be the longest serving coach of Winnipeg’s three Professional Sports Teams. The Winnipeg Goldeyes have signed their long time manager to a 3 year extension that will carry through the 2018 American Association season.
“We take great comfort in knowing that Rick will continue to lead the Goldeyes,” said Goldeyes’ owner Sam Katz.”Stability is always a major factor in maintaining a high level of success, and few managers, if any, have a track record as stable and as successful as Rick Forney.”
Forney is going into his 11th season at the helm of the Goldeyes, but 2016 will also be his 20th with the organization following a 3 year playing career, and then 6 more as a pitching coach and right hand man for Hal Lanier. In his 10 seasons as the Manager of the Fish the native of Annapolis, Maryland has compiled a record of 537-444 for a .547 winning percentage.
“We are excited that Rick will continue to lead the Goldeyes into the future,” said Goldeyes’ general manager Andrew Collier. “Rick is one of the most successful managers in independent baseball history, and puts his heart and soul into providing our great fans with a competitive team year after year.”
Under Forney’s guidance, Winnipeg has put together 8 winning seasons, 7 playoff appearances, and the 2012 American Association Championship. The former Baltimore Orioles prospect was named the AA Manager of the Year in 2011, and this past season celebrated a couple of milestones. A June 16th extra inning victory over St. Paul at Shaw Park was Rick’s 500th as Goldeyes Manager. And then on August 11th, in yet another dramatic finish, a walk off homer in the 9th provided Forney with his 524th win- surpassing the total of his mentor Hal Lanier as the winningest dugout boss in Fish Franchise history. And there will be at least one more special moment in 2016 as the 44 year old skipper is scheduled to work his 1000th career game on June 7th in Sioux City.
“I’m very thankful for the trust, as well as the opportunity, that Sam and Andrew have given me to continue on as the manager of the Goldeyes, and very much look forward to the 2016 season,” said Forney who currently resides in Walkersville, Maryland with his wife Erika, and their children David, Chris, Rebekah, and Erik.
Goldeyes’ hitting coach Tom Vaeth has also been extended through the 2018 season. Winnipeg ranked fourth in the 13-team American Association last year in batting average (.283). Since Vaeth took over as hitting coach in 2003, the Goldeyes have posted a team average of .281 or better 11 times, and have ranked in the top-four in their league in that category on eight occasions.
Prior to his time in Winnipeg, Vaeth worked five seasons in the Orioles’ organization, and later served as a scout for the Florida Marlins and San Diego Padres. Vaeth resides year-round in Winnipeg with his wife Shelley, and their sons Kaynen and Bodie.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2016 season on May 19th against the Joplin Blasters at Joe Becker Stadium. The Goldeyes’ 2016 home opener is scheduled for Monday, May 30th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries.