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All-Decade Team (2010-19): Manager

Joel Skinner Leads All-Decade Team
March 25, 2020

Leading into what would have been Opening Day of the 2020 season for the Charlotte Knights (April 9), the team's VP of Communications, Tommy Viola, will unveil the Charlotte Knights All-Decade Team (2010-19). Check back each weekday to see who made the team.

Leading into what would have been Opening Day of the 2020 season for the Charlotte Knights (April 9), the team's VP of Communications, Tommy Viola, will unveil the Charlotte Knights All-Decade Team (2010-19). Check back each weekday to see who made the team.

MANAGER: JOEL SKINNER
With 285 career wins as manager of the Charlotte Knights from 2012 to 2015, Joel Skinner is the all-time winningest manager in franchise history. In his first season at the helm, Skinner led the 2012 Knights to the Governors’ Cup Finals after an impressive 83-win regular season performance -- the second most by the Knights in a season (the team won 86 games in 1993).

In 2013, Skinner returned to manage the Knights during their final season at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, SC. In the final year at “The Castle”, Skinner’s squad went out with a win at the last-ever game played on September 2, 2013 (4-0 win over the Gwinnett Braves). The La Jolla, CA native then helped the franchise usher in a new era of professional baseball in 2014 when the Knights played their first season at BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte.

Overall, Skinner went on to manage the Knights for four seasons and he is just one of three managers in franchise history to accumulate 200 wins (Nick Capra and Mark Grudzielanek are the others).

Joel Skinner with members of the team's Negro Leagues Night in 2015. Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

PROFESSIONAL PLAYING CAREER
Skinner played 15 seasons of professional baseball, including nine seasons in the majors with the Chicago White Sox (1983-86), New York Yankees (1986-88) and Cleveland Indians (1989-91). He appeared in six games for the Knights in 1994.

MINOR LEAGUE MANAGERIAL AWARDS
In 1995 -- just a year after playing his final game -- he began his managerial career and led Watertown (A) to the New York Penn League championship. His success that season earned him Manager of the Year honors. Among some of his other managerial accomplishments, Skinner was Carolina League Manager of the Year in 1997, USA Today Baseball Weekly's Minor League Manager of the Year in 1998, and the Baseball America and The Sporting News Minor League Manager of the Year in 2000.

MAJOR LEAGUE MANAGER
In 2002 as interim manager of the Cleveland Indians, Skinner led the Tribe to a 35-41 mark. By managing the Indians that season, the Skinners became one of three father-son combinations to manage at the major league level at that time. Bob Skinner, Joel’s father, managed the Philadelphia Phillies (1968-69) and the San Diego Padres (1977). The Skinners joined the Macks (Connie and Earle) and the Sislers (George and Dick) in the exclusive club. More recently, Aaron Boone joined his dad, Bob, and David Bell joined his father, Buddy, as the fourth and fifth father-son combos to manage in the majors.

OTHER MANAGERS OF THE DECADE
Chris Chambliss went 67-77 as the team's manager to start the decade in 2010 (his second overall season at the helm after debuting in 2009). Joe McEwing spent his only season as manager of the Knights in 2011 and went 69-73. In 2016, Julio Vinas spent his only season as the team's manager and posted a 65-79 mark. For the final three seasons of the decade, Mark Grudzielanek managed the Knights to 200 wins (2017-19).