SPOKANE, WA - For the first time since 2007, the Spokane Indians will have a new manager at the helm. Matt Hagen, a veteran of 11 years in professional baseball, will take the reins for the upcoming season as the Indians look to build off last year's Northwest League divisional round playoff appearance.
Hagen, a graduate of Liberty University, spent last season as a coach with the Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic League. The 37-year-old was drafted in the 12th round of the 2002 MLB draft by the Seattle Mariners and spent over a decade in minor league and independent ball, including time in the NWL as a player for the Everett AquaSox. Hagen's coaching career also consists of time with the Inland Empire 66ers, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Liberty University and the University of Texas.
We recently caught up with Matt to talk about his off-season, some baseball favorites, and what he's done to prepare for his first managerial role in Minor League Baseball.
How did you spend your off-season?
I got married in Puerto Vallarta Mexico and went on an epic honeymoon to Australia and New Zealand.
Favorite player growing up?
Favorite ballpark snack?
Favorite baseball movie?
Favorite stadium to play in?
Sunflower seeds or gum?
Socks or stirrups?
What's your walk-up song?
Ooh Ahh (My Life Be Like) by Grits
Best memory from playing career?
Thing you miss most about playing?
Toughest pitcher you faced?
One thing would you change about the game of baseball?
Outlaw the slider
Sacrifice bunts...yea or nay?
What are you most looking forward to about being back in the Northwest?
The summertime weather for sure. I'm also excited to enjoy the great outdoors every chance I get.
If you weren't in baseball, what would you be doing now?
History Teacher, spending my summers crossing adventures off my bucket list.
Finally, how have you prepared for your first year as a MiLB manager? I've tried to draw from personal experiences while recruiting as much insight as I can from other managers. I'm also trying hard to improve my Spanish.
You can meet Matt and the rest of the 2017 Spokane Indians for the first time at Avista Stadium as part of the Community Fanfest presented by Avista, 93.7 The Mountain, SportsRadio 1510 KGA, Key 101 and 94.1 The Bear on Saturday, June 10, from 1:00 - 4:00 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.