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Cathcart named Fisher Cats manager12/03/2007 4:38 PM ET
New Hampshire Fisher Cats
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A Affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, today introduced Gary Cathcart as the fourth Manager in team history during a news conference at MerchantsAuto.com Stadium. The Blue Jays announced that Cathcart, a former Fisher Cats' hitting coach, will be joined by second-year hitting coach Ken Joyce and fourth-year pitching coach Dave LaRoche. Trainer Voon Chong returns for his fifth season in New Hampshire.
Cathcart, 44, enters his 10th year as a professional coach and sixth season in the Blue Jays' organization. This marks his third managerial post in the Blue Jays' farm system. The New Bedford, Mass., native and Bedford, N.H. resident managed the Class A Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League to a franchise-record 78 victories in 2007. That earned him Toronto's Bobby Mattick Award, recognizing dedication and excellence in the field of Player Development. Cathcart previously managed the Blue Jays' Rookie-level Pulaski Blue Jays in 2004, compiling a record of 40-27. His career managerial record is 118-88.
"We are very confident in Gary's ability to do a great job in New Hampshire," said Dick Scott, Toronto Blue Jays director of player development. He has experience coaching players at the Double-A level, has worked well with the staff, and we believe he is very capable of leading this ball club."
"I appreciate the opportunity to manage at the Double-A level," said Cathcart. "This level is an important step for players, as many of the guys could go right from here to the big leagues. Having been here in 2005 and 2006, I am familiar with the franchise and the area. It's a great place for our guys to play, and I'm just looking forward to it.
"It's not often in this business you get a chance to manage in the area where you live. That makes it even more of a special opportunity. Knowing my family, being from New England, will get a chance to watch me work is a very nice bonus," Cathcart added.
"We are excited to welcome Gary Cathcart back to the Fisher Cats' family as our manager," said Fisher Cats president/general manager Rick Brenner. "Gary has chosen to make New Hampshire his offseason home, and he's given back to this community already through his clinics at MerchantsAuto.com Stadium and, starting next week, the NH Sportsplex. We look forward to seeing the Fisher Cats compete for an Eastern League championship under Gary's leadership."
Cathcart served as the Fisher Cats' hitting coach in 2005 and 2006, working with then future Major Leaguers Adam Lind, Ryan Roberts and Curtis Thigpen. He served as a coach with the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Class A Advanced Florida State League in 2003. Before joining the Blue Jays, Cathcart coached with the independent Albany Diamond Dogs in 1999 and 2002.
Drafted as an outfielder by the New York Yankees in the 33rd round of the June 1984 draft, Cathcart played four Minor League seasons in the Yankees' system, advancing as far as Triple-A Columbus of the International League. He played two seasons at Middle Tennessee State University, batting .380 and .350 respectively.
Mike Basso was the first manager in Fisher Cats' history, guiding the team in 2004 and 2005. Doug Davis (2006) and Bill Masse (2007) each managed the Fisher Cats for one season.
Ken Joyce, 43, returns for his second year as Fisher Cats hitting coach. The Portland, Maine, native has been with the Toronto organization since 2002, starting as a coach with Medicine Hat (Rookie-level). He was a coach with Double-A New Haven in 2003, managed at Class A Charleston (W. Va.) in 2004 and Class A Lansing in 2005 and 2006.
Dave LaRoche, 59, returns as Fisher Cats pitching coach for a fourth consecutive year. The Fort Scott, Kan., resident spent 14 seasons as a Major League pitcher, posting a 65-58 record with 126 saves and a 3.53 ERA. The left-hander pitched for the California Angels, Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.
Voon Chong enters his seventh season in the Blue Jays' organization and fifth year as the Fisher Cats trainer. The Vancouver, B.C. native also serves as the assistant minor league coordinator for the Blue Jays. Chong graduated from Simon Fraser University in Canada, where he earned a degree in Kinesiology.
Fisher Cats Full-Season and Half-Season Ticket packages are on sale now by calling (603) 641-2005 or visiting www.nhfishercats.com online.