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Sioux City Journal: Serving Sioux City, Iowa
• Explorers re-sign Kirkpatrick as managerExplorers re-sign Kirkpatrick as manager Jay Kirkpatrick definitely wasn't happy with his first season as field manager of the Sioux City Explorers.Armed with greater authority to make a difference, though, Kirkpatrick has anxiously signed on for a second season."We are thrilled to have Jay returning for the 2004 season," said Chuck Robbins, general manager of the independent Northern League baseball team that begins its 12th season on May 20."Jay has been working diligently this off-season to improve his roster and we fully expect him to field a team that Siouxland will be proud of both on and off the field," said Robbins."Last year, I got baptized under fire," said Kirkpatrick."It's been quite a challenge," said Kirkpatrick.The 34-year-old Kirkpatrick played 11 seasons of professional baseball and helped the Explorers reach the Northern League playoffs in 1999 after joining the team on July 18.Batting .434 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs in just 40 games, he led the X's to a second-half division title.The Florida native returned in 2000 to bat .292 with 19 homers and 75 RBIs, ranking fourth in the league in home runs and fifth in runs batted in.Kirkpatrick, a hitting coach for the X's in 2000, also began the 2001 campaign as a player-coach for the team, but finished the season with Duluth.Kirkpatrick and his wife, the former Leslie Gentz of Remsen, make their home near Bronson, where Jay operates a hitting school for area baseball and softball players.Jay and Leslie are both employed by Gehlen Catholic School in Le Mars, where Jay is the dean of students in grades 7-12."As far as the history of the league goes, the cream of the crop is definitely in our division," said Kirkpatrick.
Sioux City Journal: Kirkpatrick sets example for all of us
And, it makes me feel a bond to someone like Jay Kirkpatrick, the Sioux City Explorers' new manager.> > For those who don't know the story, Kirkpatrick was a fairly coveted Los Angeles Dodgers farmhand not so many years ago.This is one chiseled fellow and a talented athlete, to boot.In 1998, he became the first triple crown winner in Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League.Halfway through through 1999, he landed in Sioux City.They were married April 6, 2001, and Jay doesn't even have to think hard to come up with the date.Kirkpatrick is one very good reason why our 11th Northern League season deserves to see a turnaround in declining attendance.If you can't like this guy, heaven help you.He's also a very good reason why a few players on this year's team should try looking at Sioux City with a little more maturity.
Sioux City Journal: Serving Sioux City, Iowa
• Explorers re-sign Kirkpatrick as manager"That's a great hitting ball club and they just pounded away tonight," said Explorers manager Jay Kirkpatrick."Doc Edwards, who's been around the game of baseball for 50 years, told me that during a 90-game season, you have five games that you blow people out and five games that you get blown out," said Kirkpatrick.Weekly belted his 15th long ball of the season, prompting Explorers manager Jay Kirkpatrick to sprint out of the dugout for a heated exchange with Evans.Saturday was "bring your pet to the ballpark night" and Explorers manager Jay Kirkpatrick even brought his golden retriever to the yard....
Sioux City Journal
Kirkpatrick takes Explorers helmBy Steven Allspach Journal sports writerJay Kirkpatrick, named Thursday as the new field manager of the Sioux City Explorers, talks with the media. At right is George Stavrenos, the X's general manager. (Staff photo by Jerry Mennenga)Jay Kirkpatrick, named Thursday as the new field manager of the Sioux City Explorers, talks with the media.Even so, for Jay Kirkpatrick, something was missing. Like managing a professional baseball team. "Awesome, this is just awesome.I've been looking forward to this for a long, dang time," said Kirkpatrick in his down-home way after being introduced as the new manager of the Sioux City Explorers' independent Northern League franchise at a press conference Thursday. Kirkpatrick, a veteran of 11 pro baseball seasons, parts of three of them at the Triple-A level, has been a resident of Siouxland since he was signed by the Explorers in 1999. The 33-year-old resident of rural Bronson played the last of three seasons with the Explorers in 2001, hitting eight homers and driving in 24 runs in 44 games before being traded to Winnipeg.He finished the season at Duluth-Superior, where he hit eight homers and drove in 31 runs in 43 games. In mid-July of 1999, Kirkpatrick signed with Sioux City and bashed eight homers and drove in 43 runs in 40 games. In 81 games in 2000, the native of Key West, Fla., slugged 19 homers and drove in 75 runs. Chronic back problems forced the strapping 6-foot-4, 225-pound slugger to retire after the 2001 season. During his final two seasons with the X's, though, he served as the club's hitting coach for then-Manager Ed Nottle. "I plan to draw on all of my experiences as a player and coach in developing our team," said Kirkpatrick, a fan favorite during his Sioux City playing days."This opportunity just came right out of the blue, I had no idea. "The club asked me if I'd be interested and my thought would be it's a no-brainer, but my wife (Leslie) wasn't home when I got the phone call and I told the Explorers I'd have to discuss it with her. "Well, Leslie's such a great baseball fan she wondered why I didn't say yes immediately." While out of baseball the past season, Kirkpatrick was kept busy with his baseball academy and one night a week, he and his wife worked in her brother's business in Remsen, Greg's Pizza 'N Grill.The former Leslie Gentz also teaches and coaches girls golf at Le Mars Gehlen Catholic High School. "This is an exciting time.I've always wanted to be a manager, to put in a system that I believe works and makes a winner," said Kirkpatrick."It all depends on personnel , of course, but our team will be aggressive.I know I've heard some folks say the team hasn't been hitting enough home runs. "Home runs are exciting, but I'd rather score seven or eight runs a game than see a couple of solo homers." During his playing days, Kirkpatrick played for several managers and coaches now in the big leagues, including Anaheim Manager Mike Scioscia and third base coach Ron Roenicke. Kirkpatrick graduated from Methodist College in Fayetteville, N.C., with a degree in physical education.He's in his second year as dean of students at Gehlen and still maintains his baseball academy for youth on his farm near Bronson. A draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers, he began his playing career as a rookie in 1991 at Great Falls, Mont., and has subsequently played at Vero Beach.Fla. (A), Bakersfield, Calf. (A), San Antonio (AA), Albuquerque (AAA), San Bernadino (A) and Sinon in the Chinese Professional Baseball League in 1998 where he won the batting (.387), home run (31) and RBI (101) crowns. He tagged 18 homers and drove in 75 runs at San Antonio in 1994. The left-handed swinger, who spent the majority of his playing career as a catcher, first baseman and designated hitter, has 141 career homers, 623 RBIs, 200 doubles, 1,002 hits and .302 batting average. "We really feel Jay Kirkpatrick is a perfect fit for our organization.He has all the qualities to be a successful manager.Kirkpatrick will manage a Sioux City team in a Northern League Central division next season comprised of the X's, Fargo-Moorhead, Sioux Falls, Lincoln and the league's newest franchise in Kansas City.
Press & Dakotan - Baseball Clinic Feb. 28 02/17/04
The coaches clinic will begin at 11 a.m., with a players clinic from noon to 5 p.m. Head clician will be Bill Olson of Omaha, Neb., with instruction from Jeff Lutt and Brady Borner of the Pirates organization, Steve Eddie of the White Sox organization, Brady Albers of the Reds organization, Tom Carcione of the Athletics organization and Jay Kirkpatrick of the Sioux City Explorers.