“We Have Lift-Off,” Rocket Announced as Pelicans New Manager
Ingle Era Ends
Pelicans Manager Randy Ingle is moving to the helm of the Rome Braves for the 2006 season.
The Atlanta Braves announced their 2006 Minor League coaching staffs and for the first time since 2002, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans will see a changing of the guard. After four seasons at the helm, Randy Ingle will not be back with the Birds. Replacing Ingle will be Rocket Wheeler who becomes the third manager in Pelicans club history. Ingle will continue his managerial career as the new skipper of the Rome Braves of the South Atlantic League.
“We will certainly miss Mr. Ingle, but we are thrilled to bring in someone with the prior success that Rocket has had. You can’t beat Rocket’s success and enthusiasm. Plus, he’s already so integrated in our community,” said Pelicans General Manager, Matt O’Brien.
Wheeler a resident of the Southern Grand Strand, spent the last three years as the manager of the Rome Braves.
- Under Rocket’s watchful eye the Rome Braves posted a 220-196 record.
- In each of his three seasons at the helm in Rome the Braves collected 70 or more wins.
- In 2003, Wheeler guided Rome to the SAL Championship, where they defeated the Lake County Captains, three games to one, to clinch the title.
- Before joining the Atlanta Braves system in 2003, he spent 26 seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays organization as a player, coach, and manager.
- In fact, as a coach in the Toronto organization, Rocket was a member of the Myrtle Beach Blue Jays coaching staff in 1987.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to be a part of the Myrtle Beach community again,” said Wheeler.
It is expected that Wheeler will be joined in Myrtle Beach by a number of his players from the 2005 Rome Braves roster, who went 72-65.
“We have a good chance to have some of the players that I managed last year in Rome. Spring Training will dictate our roster, but there is a good chance,” added Wheeler.
In four seasons with the Pelicans
- Ingle led the team to a combined record of 271-285
- Ingle led the Pelicans to the Carolina League playoffs in 2002 (79-61)
- He nearly took the Birds to the postseason in 2004 when his team notched a 75-63 record.
The man who’s been in Myrtle Beach from the beginning, Bruce Dal Canton, returns to the Pelicans coaching staff for his eighth season. Dal Canton, who pitched in the Major Leagues with the Pirates, Royals, Braves and White Sox has annually molded one of the finest pitching staffs in the Carolina League. Dal Canton has coached 26 pitchers in Myrtle Beach that have since pitched in the Major Leagues.
Opening Day 2006 is set for Thursday, April 6th at 7:02 pm when the Pelicans host the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
- The entire 2006 schedule has been released and is available online at www.myrtlebeachpelicans.com.
- For season ticket and mini-plan information please call the box office at 843-918-6000.
Franklin Stubbs is back for his second season as the Pelicans hitting coach. Last season “Stubby” was in charge of a Pelicans line-up that hit .249 collectively, fourth best in the Carolina League. As a Major League ballplayer, Stubbs hit .232 and hammered 104 HR’s over 10 seasons that saw him play for the L.A. Dodgers, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers and the Detroit Tigers.
Last year’s trainer Drew Van Dam has also moved into a new role within the Braves organization. Van Dam becomes the Minor League Training Coordinator of Florida Operations. Ricky Alcantara moves from the Gulf Coast Braves (Rookie) to become Myrtle Beach’s new trainer.