It’s turning into a nice gig for coaches: Richie Hebner is the new coach of the North Shore Navigators (Futures League), as the former major leaguer enters the summer-collegiate field.
Hebner, a native of Norwood, Mass., spent 18 seasons in the major leagues from 1968 to 1985 with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit, the New York Mets, and the Chicago Cubs. Hebner, 64, played in eight National League Championship Series, and was a starter on the 1971 Pirates’ World Series-winning squad. In 1,908 career games, he hit 203 home runs and drove in 890 runs.
Since his playing career ended, Hebner has been a manager and coach at various levels throughout baseball. He spent four seasons as a major-league hitting coach: three with Boston (1989-1991) under manager Joe Morgan, and one with Philadelphia (2001) alongside skipper and former Phillies teammate Larry Bowa.
“I’m anxious to be here this summer and have 54 games to show off some talent from the area and from across the country. I was out of baseball last season, and it’s a nice feeling to be back on the field, and to be managing close to home,” Hebner said.
Summer-collegiate ball has turned into a nice platform for coaches in recent years; before being named the Mets manager, Terry Collins managed the Duluth Huskies (Northwoods League), while Davey Johnson coached the DeLand Suns (Florida Collegiate Summer League) before taking the reins of the Washington Nationals.
“On behalf of the entire Navigator organization, we are absolutely thrilled to have a former major leaguer of the caliber of Richie Hebner agree to join us as our manager. Richie will be a terrific mentor to our players in guiding them towards their dream of ultimately playing in the majors. He also brings a very loyal local following, being recognized as one of New England’s best players of all time,” said Navigators owner Pat Salvi.
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