The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, in conjunction with their parent club, the Toronto Blue Jays, announced that manager Bobby Meacham is returning to the Fisher Cats' dugout in 2015. Meacham will be joined by a pair of new faces on the bench. 'The Steamer' Bob Stanley is the new pitching coach while former outfielder Stubb Clapp is the new hitting coach, making him the first Fisher Cats player to return to the team in a coaching capacity. Veterans Bob Tarpey and Brian Pike will also return to comprise the sports medicine performance team.
"We are thrilled to welcome back some familiar, friendly faces to New Hampshire in 2015," said Rick Brenner, Fisher Cats President & General Manager. "Bobby was a pleasure to work with and get to know last season, and Bob and Brian have become as familiar to fans as our front office staff. It'll be a pleasure to work more closely with Bob Stanley, a gracious guest at our Granite State Baseball Dinner, and Stubby Clapp as we bring another exciting summer to Fisher Cats fans."
Meacham will count the new season as his third with the Blue Jays, and his second as skipper of the Fisher Cats. The Texas resident led the Fisher Cats to 66 wins a year ago, leaving him just eight wins shy of 500 in his managing career.
"I'm excited to be coming back to the Fisher Cats for a new season," said Meacham. "Last year was the first time I really visited New Hampshire, and my wife, Gari, and I enjoyed meeting the people and experiencing all that the state has to offer, from the beaches to the mountains and lakes. I look forward to getting to work with Rick and his staff again, and hopefully winning a more games for the great fans that supported us last year."
A former first-round pick and long-time New York Yankees shortstop, 'Meach' spent six seasons as a major league base coach before joining the Blue Jays in 2013. He has coached in the major leagues with Florida, San Diego, Houston, and the Yankees. He has also coached minor leaguers with Kansas City, Colorado, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.
Stanley returns to the minor leagues after serving as the bullpen coach with the Blue Jays last summer. Known as 'The Steamer' during his long playing career with the Boston Red Sox, Stanley has been with the Blue Jays since serving as pitching coach at Triple-A Las Vegas in 2012. He has previous stints with Mets and Giants minor league affiliates, including a role as pitching coach with former Eastern League club, Connecticut, in 2008.
Over 13 seasons in the major leagues, all with the Red Sox, Stanley appeared in two All-Star games and set the Red Sox record with 637 career appearances. He now resides in New Hampshire, and has been a frequent guest of the annual Granite State Baseball Dinner.
Clapp will reach Double-A in his third season as a Blue Jays hitting coach next summer. He spent the last two years with Dunedin, the Blue Jays' Advanced-A affiliate, mentoring Fisher Cats alumni like Dalton Pompey and Jon Berti, among others. His coaching career began in 2008 in Houston's minor league system, and he reached Double-A in 2010 before managing at the short-season level in 2011-12. Originally from Ontario, Clapp appeared in 23 games with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001. He played nearly 1,000 games in the minor leagues, including 19 with the Fisher Cats in 2004. He had his No. 10 jersey retired by the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds.
Tarpey returns to New Hampshire for a sixth straight season as athletic trainer. He'll enter the new season with a new shine as the York, Maine, native was married in November and was then named the 2014 Minor League Athletic Trainer of the Year earlier this month. Tarpey has been with the Blue Jays since 2006, spending time with Pulaski (2006-07), Lansing (2008), and Dunedin (2009) before his arrival in New Hampshire in 2010.
Pike is back alongside Tarpey as the Fisher Cats' strength and conditioning coach for a seventh overall season. A native of Gorham, N.H., Pike's baseball career began with the Fisher Cats in 2006, and then continued after a two-year hiatus in 2009. He was back in the New Hampshire dugout in 2010, and has returned to his home state in each consecutive season.
The Fisher Cats new Field Staff will open the 2015 season on Thursday, April 9, at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium against the New Britain Rock Cats (Colorado Rockies). Full and Half-Season Tickets and Mini-Ticket Plans are currently on sale, and each features a variety of benefits and experiences. To learn more, stop by the box office at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, call (603) 641-2005, or visit www.nhfishercats.com.