Image credit: Rick Renteria (left) and Omar Vizquez (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
Understandably, most prominent major leaguers never return to their minor league roots after their playing careers are over.
Most of them are not keen on returning to the grind of the minor league life as a coach or manager. They still remember the bus rides on their way up.
But there are always a few exceptions.
For six seasons, Ryne Sandberg worked as a minor league manager before holding the Phillies’ major league gig from 2013-15.
This season, the biggest name in the minors is Birmingham manager Omar Vizquel, who works in the White Sox system. As a shortstop, Vizquel played 24 years in the majors. Now he’s in his second year as a minor league manager, having led Winston-Salem to a Carolina League playoff spot last year.
Here is a sampling of other notable names found on minor league coaching staffs.
Doug Drabek, D-backs
The Double-A Jackson pitching coach won the 1990 NL Cy Young Award with the Pirates.
Mark Davis, Royals
The Rookie-level Arizona League pitching coach won the 1989 NL Cy Young Award for the Padres after notching 44 saves.
Pat Borders, Phillies
The short-season Williamsport manager was the 1992 World Series MVP in the Blue Jays’ first of two straight title years.
Howard Johnson, Rangers
The Triple-A Nashville hitting coach compiled a trio of 30 homer-30 steal seasons for the Mets in a 14-year big league career.