Photo Credit: Sean Rice
WINNIPEG, MB – Winnipeg Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney has been voted the American Association’s 2020 Manager of the Year.
The award was voted on by field managers, league executives, and media members from all 12 American Association clubs.
“Rick has proven himself to be one of the best managers in independent baseball over the past many years,” said Goldeyes’ general manager Andrew Collier. “We may have fallen short of our ultimate goal, but what Rick accomplished during this summer’s very unique season may have been his best performance ever. At times, Rick filled in as clubhouse manager, trainer, COVID-19 testing coordinator, and several other jobs that are far beyond the scope of his normal duties as manager and pitching coach. On behalf of the entire Goldeyes’ organization, congratulations!”
Due to the closure of the Canadian-US border, the Goldeyes were the only team to play all of their games on the road. The club was predominantly based out of Newman Outdoor Field, home of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
The Goldeyes finished with a 29-31 record, and in fourth place in the abbreviated, six-team American Association. The Goldeyes spent 37 of the season’s 70 calendar days in first place (43 in a playoff position), and remained in contention with less than a week left on the schedule. An 11-game losing streak late in the year dropped Winnipeg back in the standings, but the club won four of its final seven, and finished just 3.0 games out of the second playoff spot.
“Rick is a true leader of men, and a great manager,” said Goldeyes’ shortstop Wes Darvill. “It has been a pleasure to play for Rick for four seasons, and I’m happy that he’s getting the credit he deserves this year.”
On two separate occasions, Forney made difficult decisions that put the needs of the players involved ahead of the team. All-Star catcher Roy Morales was traded to the Sioux Falls Canaries in exchange for future considerations on August 3rd, while Goldeyes’ franchise strikeout leader Kevin McGovern was allowed to be claimed off waivers by the RedHawks on August 21st. In both situations, the outgoing player received significantly increased playing time that was not available with the Goldeyes at the time of the transaction.
Forney was also voted Manager of the Year in 2011, and joins Steve Shirley, Tim Johnson, and Kevin Hooper as the only managers in American Association history to win the award multiple times.
Forney completes his 15th season as Goldeyes’ manager, and his 24th overall with the organization. Since taking over as manager in 2006, Forney has guided Winnipeg to a 784-657 (.544) record, 11 winning seasons, nine playoff appearances, and an American Association record three championships (2012, 2016, 2017).
During a 10-year playing career, Forney was 89-56 (.614) with a 3.63 ERA, and reached the Triple-A level in 1995. Forney pitched four seasons for the Goldeyes from 1997-2000, setting numerous club records. After serving as pitching coach from 2000-05, Forney was hired as the third manager in franchise history in 2006.
For information on Goldeyes’ merchandise and 2021 season tickets, visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com