Meet new manager Kevin Gergel

We may think of ourselves as the foremost Strat-O-Matic brains in the country, but none of us had actually played ball as a professional. None of us had walked the walk. None of us can say we had our own page on baseball-reference.com.

Well now we have someone who has.

As we start our 39th season, we welcome Kevin Gergel to the fold — son of Mark Gergel, sure to be confused with Keith Gergel, and a former draft pick of the Seattle Mariners.

Kevin Gergel and wife Teil

Kevin Gergel and wife Teil

Kevin will be skippering the East Cobb Juice, the team that will replace Dave LaMont’s Springfield Isotopes for the upcoming season. Kevin, 36,  is a business development manager for ITA Group, and lives in Marietta, Ga., with his wife Teil, daughter Maris (10) and son Kellan (7).

Growing up in Livonia, Mich., Kevin played Little League baseball on teams coached by his dad. He went on to play baseball at Georgia Tech and then Kennesaw State in Georgia, earning status as an all-American catcher, leading to being selected by the Mariners in the 24th round of the 2005 amateur draft. Batting left and throwing right, playing catcher and first base, he hit a combined .307 / .365 / .503 / .869 in rookie ball and in a brief stint with Class A Inland Empire of the California League.

Other notable picks in 2005: 1. Justin Upton. 2. Alex Gordon. 4. Ryan Zimmerman. 5. Ryan Braun. 7. Troy Tulowitzki. 10. Cameron Maybin. 11. Andrew McCutcheon. 12. Jay Bruce.

In 2006 he played for an Independent League team, the Traverse City (Mich.) Beach Bums, from whom the Destin Beach Bums draw their name.

His I-75 League team name is pulled from two elements of his past: East Cobb is a reference to the Georgia travel ball program Kevin played on that won the AAU Junior Olympics; and Juice is a reference to three years of playing in the Orlando area for a youth travel program, Chet Lemon’s Juice,  coached by the former Tigers outfielder.

“Thank you for accepting me in the league, it’s a privilege to take over a world class organization in the Springfield Isotopes,” Kevin wrote in December 2017 following his selection. “Though we are relocating and renaming the team to the East Cobb Juice, we will look to build on the foundation of success that Dave LaMont leaves behind and honor Homer’s legacy.”

We welcome Kevin to the league, and if we ever manage to have another league softball game at our annual draft, there’s a new favorite as to who the No. 1 pick is likely to be.

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