The Thunder Bay Border Cats have turned to their past to guide the team in 2015.
The Northwoods League team on Tuesday named former catcher and assistant coach Danny Benedetti its new field manager, taking over from the one-season-and-done Johnny Hernandez.
Benedetti, 28, was a member of the Cats in 2007 and 2008, helping the team capture its second league championship in his second campaign.
He’s an assistant coach with the St. John’s University Red Storm, where he aides Ed Blankmeyer, father of current Border Cats infielder Ty Blankmeyer.
This past summer Benedetti managed the Sag Harbor Whalers of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League, leading the team to a first-place finish and a 22-18 record.
"I am very excited to be returning to Thunder Bay," Benedetti said in a release. "I've always enjoyed my summers in Canada and I will work very hard to put a winning team on the field for the dedicated fans of the Border Cats.”
Hernandez led the Cats through dismal 23-49 season and wasn’t invited back.
Cats owner Brad Jorgenson said Benedetti is the perfect fit. He knows the city, he knows how to win and has connections in the U.S. college ranks.
"We are extremely excited to welcome Danny back to the Border Cats organization," Jorgenson said "Having played and coached on both the west coast and east coast of the United States, Danny has developed an impressive list of contacts with several top college baseball programs, which is only going to enhance our recruiting process. Danny knows what it takes to win in the Northwoods League, because he has been a champion at this level.”
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