International League Hall of Famer and former Major League All-Star Larry Parrish will return as manager of the Toledo Mud Hens when the season opens April 4, 2014! "LP" is the winningest manager in Mud Hens history, leading the team to 569 wins and two Governers' Cup championships during his eight years in Toledo (1994, 2003-2006, 2008-2010).
Toledo Mud Hens President and General Manager Joe Napoli is thrilled to have LP back. "As a manager, he's a great teacher and I know we'll see improvement in player development. For our fans, he's always been a favorite, they will be glad to welcome him back."
Parrish had a memorable playing career, appearing in nearly 1,900 Major League games with the Expos, Rangers, and Red Sox. He appeared in two All-Star Games. Following two seasons in the Japanese Central League, Parrish retired in 1990.
The Florida native started his coaching career in 1992, as manager for Single-A Niagara Falls, and won the league championship in 1993. He was promoted to manage Toledo in 1994, guiding the team to a 56-62 record. In 1995 he was named roving hitting instructor for the Tigers minor league system. In 1996, he returned to the dugout as the manager of the Double-A Jacksonville Suns, where he won another League Championship the same year. Parrish served as bench coach under Tigers manager Buddy Bell for the 1997 season and part of 1998. Parrish replaced Bell in September 1998 and managed the Tigers through the 1999 season, compiling an 82-104 record. Parrish remained in the Tigers organization as a scout from 2000-2002.
In 2003 Parrish returned to Toledo to manage the Mud Hens. In 2005 LP led the Hens to an 89-55 record and a Governors' Cup championship - the team's first since 1967. He was named the 2005 Minor League Manager of the Year by The Sporting News. In 2006 Parrish led the Mud Hens to a 76-66 record and a repeat of the Governors' Cup, giving the Mud Hens their first back-to-back championsships in franchise history.
Parrish left the Tigers organization to become hitting coach for the Atlanta Braves in 2011, a position he held for one season. In 2013, LP returned to the Tigers farm system, managing the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps.
Parrish was elected to the International League Hall of Fame in 2013. He has compiled a 569-551 (.508) record in his eight seasons in Toledo - his win total is the most for any manager in franchise history.
MORE COACHING NEWS
The Tigers promoted Mud Hens pitching Coach A.J. Sager to the team's roving pitching coordinator. The University of Toledo graduate has spent six years with the Mud Hens and 12 in the Detroit Tigers organization.
"It's been a pleasure having AJ in Toledo," says Napoli. "But we're excited for him and his family and his new role and responsibilities within the Tiger organization, and the best part is we'll still have the benefit of him coming to Toledo."
Al Nipper will replace Sager as the Mud Hens pitching coach. He pitched seven seasons in the majors before beginning his professional coaching career in 1992. Nipper spent the last two years with the Tigers as minor league pitching coordinator. Hitting coach Leon "Bull" Durham will for his 14th season with the Mud Hens. Athletic trainer Matt Rankin will join the Tigers major league staff as assistant athletic trainer. A replacement hasn't been named yet for Rankin.