Thursday, January 5, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jordan Mandelkorn
Gardner Jr. returns for sixth season as Biscuits manager
MONTGOMERY, AL – The Montgomery Biscuits in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Rays are proud to announce that Billy Gardner Jr. will return in 2012 for his sixth season as the club’s manager. He’ll be joined by fourth-year hitting coach Ozzie Timmons, and new pitching coach R.C. Lichtenstein.
2012 will mark Gardner’s nineteenth season in professional baseball, and sixteenth as a minor league coach. A native of Connecticut, Gardner has recorded more than 1,000 career wins, a Biscuits-record 352 of which have come in the Butter and Blue. Gardner has managed 23 Biscuits who’ve eventually made their way to the major leagues, including David Price, Desmond Jennings, and Evan Longoria, who helped Gardner and the 2007 squad set a franchise record for wins and bring home its second-straight Southern League Championship.
Gardner, 45, is the son of former major leaguer and World Series Champion Billy Gardner Sr., who also had stints as a manager for the Twins and the Royals.
Timmons, 41, a native of Tampa, FL and former Rays outfielder, returns to the Biscuits for a fourth season as its hitting coach, and fifth overall within the Rays organization. Timmons joined the Biscuits in 2009, after serving as hitting coach for the Hudson Valley Renegades (New York-Penn, 2007) and Columbus Catfish (South Atlantic League, 2006).
A 21-year veteran of professional baseball, including sixteen as a player, Timmons was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of the 1991 June draft. He spent 16 seasons with the Cubs, Reds, Mariners, Rays, Braves, Diamondbacks, and Mets organizations. As a major league outfielder, Timmons posted career numbers of .235 with 20 doubles and 20 home runs in 186 games played.
Lichtenstein begins his first season as Montgomery pitching coach and his eighth in the Rays organization. The Chicago native has spent the last three seasons as pitching coach of the Rays’ low-A affiliate, the Bowling Green Hot Rods. After a short minor league pitching career, Lichtenstein began coaching in the independent leagues in 1995 before a five-year stint as a coach in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. He joined the Rays system in 2005.
A former pitcher at University of Illinois-Chicago, Lichtenstein has also taken USA-Select baseball teams on international tours, and is actively involved as a camp and private instructor.
The Biscuits open their ninth season with a ten-game road trip before launching the home schedule at Riverwalk against the Mobile BayBears on Sunday, April 15th.
The Biscuits’ 2012 Opening Day Roster will be announced in April.
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