DUNEDIN, FL -- The Dunedin Blue Jays announced the team's 2013 coaching staff today, featuring two new faces for the upcoming season. Former Houston Astros first base coach Bob Meacham joins the club as manager, marking his second managerial stint at the Advanced-A level. Ontario native Richard "Stubby" Clapp comes on as the Blue Jays' hitting coach, after spending the last two seasons managing the Tri-City ValleyCats, the Astros' Single-A affiliate. Florida State League Hall-of-Famer Darold Knowles returns to Dunedin for his eighth consecutive season as pitching coach, looking to keep the Blue Jays among the league leaders in team ERA.
Meacham, who replaces current Miami Marlins skipper Mike Redmond, brings six years of major league playing and coaching experience to Dunedin. A member of the New York Yankees from 1983-1988, the contact-hitting shortstop excelled in manufacturing runs, leading the American League with 14 sacrifice hits in 1984, and pacing both leagues with 23 sacrifices in 1985. Meacham joined the big league coaching ranks in 2006, when he served as the third base coach for the Florida Marlins. He split the next two years working with the Marlins and San Diego Padres, before coaching first base for the Astros from 2010-2012.
Meacham spent eight years as a minor league coach in the Rockies' and Pirates' organizations, until he was hired as the manager of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Angels' Advanced-A affiliate) in 2002. After three years at the helm, he rejoined the Rockies' farm system as the roving field instructor for the 2005 season.
Stubby Clapp will replace Ralph Dickenson as hitting coach, taking on the same role he had with the Greeneville Astros (Rookie affiliate) in 2007 and 2009, the Lexington Legends of the South Atlantic League in 2008 and the Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros' Double-A affiliate) in 2010.
Clapp played 23 games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001, but truly made a name for himself with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds and as a member of Team Canada during two Olympics, two World Baseball Classics and the Pan American Games. Clapp led the Redbirds with 138 hits, 89 runs, 80 walks and 8 triples during the 2000 season, and ranks second all-time in games played (425) and hits (418) with Memphis. The team eventually retired his number in 2007. Clapp earned national renown in Canada during the 1999 Pan American Games, when his 11th inning bases-loaded RBI single knocked off Team USA en route to a bronze medal.
Pitching coach Darold Knowles will be the lone returning member of the coaching staff. Having spent the last seven seasons in Dunedin, Knowles led the Blue Jays to an impressive 3.59 team ERA in 2012, good for third in the league and a key factor in the team's first-half North Division title. After pitching 16 seasons as a reliever in the major leagues, Knowles started his coaching career with eight years in the Cardinals organization before starting a brief stint as the Philadelphia Phillies' pitching coach in 1988. He eventually joined the Florida State League in 1991 as a member of the Clearwater Threshers' coaching staff, and later signed on with Dunedin in 2006.
The FSL Hall of Fame honoree's impressive coaching resume compliments his remarkable career, in which he won three straight World Series titles with the Oakland Athletics from 1972-1974. Knowles is the only pitcher to appear in all seven games of a single World Series, as he tossed 6.1 innings without allowing an earned run during the 1973 Fall Classic. The southpaw also holds the highest pickoff rate in major league history, nabbing a base runner once every 24 innings. Knowles finished his playing career with a 3.12 ERA and 143 saves.
For additional information, visit DunedinBlueJays.com or call 727-733-9302.