Calgary Viper's Skipper Morgan Burkhart Selected As GBL Manager of the Year
Delivers Calgary's First Championship In Rookie Year At The Helm
(San Ramon, CA. October 14, 2009) The Golden Baseball League (GBL) announced today that Calgary Vipers' skipper Morgan Burkhart has been named 2009 GBL Manager of the Year.
The rookie manager led his
club to first and second half championships in the North Division, the first team ever to win both division halves in the history of the GBL
, and then went on to defeat archrival Edmonton in the Division Championship Series and won the 2009 GBL Title with a 3 games to 1 victory over the Tucson Toros.
Burkart, 37, is from the St. Louis area and attended Central Missouri State.
played four years in the Frontier League
with the Richmond Roosters
was the MVP runner-up in 1995, and won the award in 1996-97-98.
The league's MVP award is now named for him.
Signed by the Boston Red Sox he advanced to the major leagues and played with Boston in 2000 and 2001 and then went to Japan for 2002 with the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks.
returned in 2003 and played with the Kansas City Royals
before finishing his
career with AAA
seasons the next three years.
joined the Calgary Vipers
as the hitting coach in 2007 under Manager Mike Busch when Calgary was in the Northern League
tutelage the Vipers led the Northern League
in hitting and made the playoffs before falling in the Championship Finals.
In 2008, now in the Golden League
, the Vipers had an identical season under Busch and Burkhart
as they once again led the league in hitting only to come up a game short of the winning the title.
With Mike Busch departing, Burkhart
stepped up to the Manager position in 2009 and his
team responded tremendously.
They swept both halves, finished with a regular season overall record of 49-27 (.645), easily led the league in hitting as the top four GBL batting average leaders were all Vipers, and defeated the Tucson Toros to bring home the first professional baseball championship to Calgary as they avenged the Calgary Cannons loss to the Tucson Toros in the 1991 Pacific Coast League Championship Series.
"We're pleased to honor Morgan with this award," said Golden Baseball League Commissioner Kevin Outcalt.