Time flies, just like baseballs do.
And even though it’s still January and cold outside, the High Point Rockers Baseball team is already gearing up for the 2023 season.
On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Rockers announced that manager Jamie Keefe and his coaching staff – the same one that led the Rockers to the Atlantic League’s South Division Championship in 2022 – is returning for the 2023 season.
That means that Keefe, who’s about to embark on his fourth season as the Rockers’ manager, will have some solid help preserving the team’s winning ways. Keefe will be joined by pitching coach Frank Viola and bench coach Albert Gonzalez – who together will lead an excited group of ballers who are eager to build on last seasons’ success.
Keefe stated in a January 24 press release that the Rockers program is getting a major league vibe.
“The thing that is amazing to me,” he said, “is that with all the knowledge that Frank and Albert have, it’s remarkable that they are here in High Point and not in Major League Baseball. Frank had a fantastic playing career and has been great as a coach and instructor. Albert is very well-connected within all baseball circles.”
Baseball fans are certainly familiar with the achievements of Viola in the majors. He spent 15 years in the Major Leagues, leading the Minnesota Twins to the 1987 World Championship and winning the American League Cy Young Award. He was the MVP of the ’87 World Series and named to three All-Star teams before joining the High Point Rockers in 2019.
Keefe will be leading his 20th baseball team into battle this year. The veteran manager is only 19 wins away from his 1,000th career win.
He has led the Rockers to the playoffs in two of his three seasons – including earning a berth in the League Championship Series last fall before eventually dropping the final series to Lancaster.
Keefe’s three seasons in High Point have resulted in a 209-182 record and a .535 winning percentage.
The Rockers will open the Atlantic League’s 25th Anniversary season on Friday, April 28 when the team hosts the Long Island Ducks at Truist Point.