One doesn’t need to be a great player to become a good manager…. Damon Berryhill proved this yesterday as he was voted the best manager of the Pacific Coast League.
Atlanta Braves fans will remember Berryhill as the catcher that caught for the Braves during the 1992 World Series vs the Toronto Blue Jays in which he hit a homerun in game one, one of only two hits in that series.
Berryhill was a career .257 hitter who spent ten seasons in the Majors with the Cubs, the Braves, the Red Sox, the Reds and the Giants.
After his active career as a player, Berryhill was a minor league catching coordinator with the Texas Rangers (2005-2007) and the Diamondbacks (2003-2004). He started his coaching career with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (then an Angels A Advanced affiliate) in 2002.
The managing career of Berryhill followed a curious path. He started with the Advanced A team of the Rangers in Bakersfield in 2008. From 2009 through 2013 he managed the Advanced rookie team of the Dodgers in Ogden before he managed the Dodgers’ AAA farm team in Albuquerque. After the Dodgers’ moved their AAA farm team to Oklahoma City, Berryhill moved with them.
This season, Berryhill guided the Oklahoma City Dodgers to a Pacific Coast leading 85-55 record, with four games remaining in the season. Despite 320 roster transactions (one of them was the adding of Aruban catcher Shawn Zarraga to OKC’s roster), Berryhill was able to guide the team to a North Division win and a play off spot. Berryhill’s current managerial career record is 416-385.
Berryhill was voted the PCL’s top manager via a balloting of the league’s 16 field managers and media representatives from each PCL city.