Brogna named BayBears' manager

Former big leaguer was Diamondbacks' field coordinator

Rico Brogna committed 33 errors during a nine-year big league career. (William B. Plowman/AP)

By Daren Smith / MLB.com | November 10, 2009 6:19 PM

Rico Brogna is going Mobile.

The former slick-fielding first baseman on Tuesday was named the eighth manager in the history of the Mobile BayBears.

Brogna, who spent last season as the Arizona Diamondbacks' field coordinator, replaces Hector De La Cruz, who posted a 124-153 record in two seasons.

"I guess you could say my main job has been scouting over the past four or five years for the Diamondbacks, but I've done a little bit of everything," said the 39-year-old Brogna.

The BayBears will be the first managerial job at any level for the Connecticut native, who served as a volunteer football coach at Wesleyan University and later head coach of the boys' basketball team at his high school alma mater.

"I've coached college football, high school basketball and everything in between," Brogna said. "I just love teaching and coaching the game. I just want to take the experience I've gained and put it together to make guys better."

Brogna spent time during the 2009 season in Mobile, which is the Double-A affiliate of the Diamondbacks.

"Mobile is full of baseball tradition," he said. "It's going to be great to get back in uniform and I can't think of a better place to start than Mobile. I had a chance to spend some time there last season and Hank Aaron Stadium is a beautiful ballpark. The core of the team was solid and I'm looking forward to us getting starting in 2010."

A 1988 first-round Draft pick, Brogna spent nine seasons in the Major Leagues with the Tigers, Mets, Phillies, Red Sox and Braves. His best season was 1999 with Philadelphia, where he batted .278 with 24 homers and 102 RBIs. In 848 big league games, he committed only 33 errors and compiled a .995 fielding percentage.

Returning to work with Brogna are BayBears pitching coach Dan Carlson and hitting coach Turner Ward.

"I had the opportunity to meet Rico last season on his visit to Mobile and was impressed by his knowledge of the game and, most importantly, his passion for our national pastime," BayBears president Bill Shanahan said. "Having Turner Ward as our hitting coach and Dan Carlson as our pitching coach, I feel like we have the triple play combination that our fans and players have been waiting for."

Daren Smith is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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