Time flies, as do baseballs.
And even though it’s still January and cold outside, the High Point Rockers Baseball team is already gearing up for the 2023 season.
On Tuesday, January 24, the Rockers announced that manager Jamie Keefe and his coaching staff – the same one who led the Rockers to the Atlantic League’s South Division Championship in 2022 – will return for the 2023 season.
That means Keefe, who is entering his fourth season as the Rockers’ manager, will have solid help to maintain the team’s winning ways. Keefe will be joined by pitching coach Frank Viola and bench coach Albert Gonzalez – who together will lead an excited group of hitters eager to build on last season’s success.
Keefe stated in a January 24 press release that the Rockers program will have a major league feel.
“What’s amazing to me,” he said, “is that with all the knowledge that Frank and Albert have, it’s remarkable that they’re here in High Point and not in Major League Baseball. Frank had a great playing career and has been great as a coach and director. Albert is very well connected in all baseball circles.”
Baseball fans are surely familiar with Viola’s accomplishments in the majors. He spent 15 years in the Major Leagues, leading the Minnesota Twins to the 1987 World Series and winning the American League Cy Young Award. He was the MVP of the ’87 World Series and named to three All-Star teams before joining the High Point Rockers in 2019.
Keefe will lead his 20th baseball team into action this year. The experienced manager is only 19 wins away from his 1,000th. career win.
He has led the Rockers to the playoffs in two of his three seasons — including earning a spot in the League Championship Series last fall before ultimately dropping the finals series to Lancaster.
Keefe’s three seasons in High Point have resulted in a 209-182 record and a .535 winning percentage.
The Rockers open the Atlantic League’s 25th anniversary season on Friday, April 28, when the team hosts the Long Island Ducks at Truist Point.