The Winnipeg Goldeyes are saying goodbye to the face of the organization.
The Goldeyes’ longtime manager, Rick Forney, announced Monday that he’ll be leaving Winnipeg after a total of 26 years with the team.
Drafted by Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles in 1991, Forney’s career with the Goldeyes began as a pitcher in 1997. He moved into a joint player/coach role three years later and eventually earned the management role which he’s held since 2006.
Over that time, Forney set a number of team records as a player, and as manager, leading the team to championships in 2012, 2016 and 2017.
Goldeyes owner Sam Katz said Monday he’s glad he took a gamble on Forney as a manager 17 years ago.
“There were many individuals who asked the question, ‘is he ready?’ Those questions were quickly answered,” Katz said. “He was more than ready, and he proved that on and off the field with his many accomplishments.
“Rick was a player, coach and manager for the Goldeyes. Most importantly, he was a dear friend, as was his wife and partner, Erika.”
While with the Goldeyes, Forney and his wife raised four children in Winnipeg, and in an open letter announcing his departure, the U.S.-born manager said the extent of their life in the city was something he never expected.
“Winnipeg became our second home and embraced us fully with love and open arms,” he said. “The summers spent together with our extended Winnipeg family hold memories we will forever cherish.”
Forney’s record-setting career — the third-longest tenure as a manager in modern independent pro baseball – saw him achieve an 887-753 (.541) regular season record, make the playoffs 10 times and win American Association Manager of the Year in 2011 and 2020.
He leaves Winnipeg for a new role as field manager with the Pennsylvania-based York Revolution, who compete in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an independent partner league of MLB.
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