Manager of the Year: Aaron Snitker still seen as a player’s manager

Image copyright Facebook Image caption Aaron Snitker was born in North Carolina Aaron Snitker managed the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins and was a scout for the Cubs. Now the former North Carolina State…

Manager of the Year: Aaron Snitker still seen as a player's manager

Image copyright Facebook Image caption Aaron Snitker was born in North Carolina

Aaron Snitker managed the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins and was a scout for the Cubs. Now the former North Carolina State player and minor league coach is the National League manager of the Atlanta Braves

It was 1992 and Snitker was working for the Chicago Cubs scout when they offered him a role in the farm system.

Somehow, while Snitker had been in Chicago, he had lost the job he’d had at the Braves.

Snitker, still in his twenties, decided to go back to school and enrol for graduate courses. During those classes, the second baseman and first baseman picked up a development game on his phone.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Snitker was a scout for the Cubs when he got the chance to manage at Division II Florida State

“I’d seen enough of the game to say you got some good teachers. Don Cooper and Tony La Russa’s story was taught to me, so I would go out to their guys,” he said in 2018.

“I’d get to the league office and it was like looking in the mirror: Don Cooper. Tony La Russa. Now comes you. You can make a difference.”

Snitker managed in the now defunct USA Baseball Collegiate League, the Class D Northwoods League, in Florida. He was hired as the Carolina Mudcats assistant manager, playing a part in the Myrtle Beach complex and recruiting players from throughout the state, as well as that of their USA Baseball programme.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Snitker didn’t join the Cubs until 1999

Fast forward two seasons and Snitker was promoted to the top job at Division II Florida State University in Tallahassee.

The following year, he became the Cubs’ scout-in-charge in Florida and gave the middle infield job in Chicago to his assistant Steve Braun.

Snitker was introduced as the Cubs’ new third base coach in 1999 and held the position for just two seasons. He departed shortly after to take the same position with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, to become their interim manager for three months, before becoming the Braves’ interim manager for three months in 2005.

Aaron Snitker’s managers’ success NFR (Triple-A): 2010-12 (Braves)

2003 (Indians): 1995-97 (Braves)

TBD (Mets): 1995 (Expos)

1963 (Giants)

1973 (White Sox)

1993 (White Sox)

1992 (Cubs)

1993 (Braves)

Sept 2000 (Cubs)

Sep 2000 (Braves)

The Atlanta Braves finished third in the standings in 2005 after a successful World Series season the year before. It would mark the last time Snitker would manage in the big leagues.

He went on to manage the St Louis Cardinals organisation before taking over as the manager of the independent Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, the Minnesota Twins’ Class A affiliate.

Snitker managed the RedHawks for four years, before he took a similar role with the Arizona Diamondbacks, before joining the Chicago Cubs in 2013 as their third base coach.

He helped the Cubs to a 99-63 record in his first season with them, before moving up to lead the team to a 94-68 mark last season.

Sneedker, who says he is the “biggest prankster in baseball”, has kept quiet for months about his managing future, but told ESPN that he told his players to play hard in the event he did not continue coaching.

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