New Hitting Coach Brings Major League Flavor

Cards' Former Major League Hitting Instructor to Spend 2010 in the Quad Cities

February 19, 2010 6:17 AM ET

Mitchell Page is back in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. The Redbirds have named Page the 2010 hitting coach for the River Bandits. The coaching veteran has an impressive resume bringing six years of experience as a major league batting instructor to the Quad Cities.

"Mitchell Page is a fine addition to a coaching staff that was already full of talent and enthusiasm," said Bandits owner Dave Heller. "His experience will be invaluable in teaching and developing the gifted athletes the Cardinals send through the Quad Cities year-in and year-out."

Page worked as the Cardinals hitting coach in St. Louis under current manager Tony La Russa from 2001-04. During his tenure, the Cardinals ranked first in the National League with a .275 team average over his four years with the club. They ranked third in all of Major League baseball in that category, trailing only the Boston Red Sox (.283) and the Los Angeles Angels (.278). During his final season in St. Louis, the Cards led the National League in runs (757), hits (1,544) and slugging percentage (.460).

"We're happy to have Mitchell back in the Cardinals organization," said Cardinals Director of Minor League Operations John Vuch. "He brings a wealth of teaching experience, having worked with hitters at all levels, and his ability to instruct young hitters makes him an ideal fit for us at Quad Cities."

After leaving the Cardinals, Page moved over to the Washington Nationals in 2005. That season he was the organization's minor league hitting coordinator before serving as the major league hitting coach from 2006-07. Over that span he helped tutor Alfonso Soriano who went on to win the Silver Slugger award and set the franchise record for home runs (46).

This season will mark his second tour of duty as a hitting instructor in the Cardinals minor league system. He served as the hitting coach for Triple-A Memphis during the 1998 campaign. He also spent two seasons as the hitting coordinator for the Cardinals organization for two years prior to being named the team's big league hitting coach.

Page enjoyed an eight-year major league career highlighted by his Rookie of the Year campaign in 1977 while playing with the Oakland A's.

"We are excited about the major league experience Mitchell brings with him to Modern Woodmen Park," said Bandits Vice President/General Manager Kirk Goodman. "He is a recognizable figure that the fans will be excited to see in our uniform."

Page is the final piece of the puzzle for the River Bandits 2010 field staff. Johnny Rodriguez and Tim Leveque were named the team's manager and pitching coach respectively in early November. Page replaces Joe Kruzel, who spent two seasons mentoring the River Bandits hitters.

UP NEXT: Modern Woodmen Park is staying busy as a special events venue over the off-season, providing the perfect atmosphere for parties, corporate functions and more. Meanwhile, the 2010 baseball schedule has been released and fans can already put down a deposit on season ticket and mini-plan packages - including the brand new Super Seven Plan - right now by calling (563) 3-BANDIT.

ABOUT THE BANDITS: The Quad Cities River Bandits set a new post-renovation mark for single-season attendance in 2009, as 236,401 fans passed through the turnstiles for an average of 3,694 fans per game. Both figures marked the highest since 1995, while the average attendance was the third highest in franchise history and the total attendance was the fifth highest all-time. The total attendance was up 14 percent over the 2008 season, continuing a 59 percent attendance increase since Main St. Iowa purchased the franchise following the 2007 season. Ticket sales, concessions, merchandise sales, sponsorships and even Kids' Zone revenues were all up over 2008, which was one of the team's best in history! Season and group ticket deposits for 2010 are currently being accepted.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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