Burkhart signed by Padres, Stan Cliburn signed by Blue Crabs
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs proudly announce that the contract of Manager Lance Burkhart has be acquired by the San Diego Padres – the second time a manager from the Blue Crabs has been signed by a Major League Club in two years. In 2013 Manager Patrick Osborn was signed by the New York Yankees. Both Burkhart and Osborn will be coaching this season in the farm system of their Major League Clubs – Burkhart in Fort Wayne, Indiana (Midwest League) and Osborn as manager of the Staten Island Yankees (New York Penn League).
“As with Patrick Osborn, I cannot say enough about how excited we are for Lance as he takes the next step in his career,” said Patrick Day, General Manager of the Blue Crabs. “While we are obviously disappointed that Lance will not be returning for the upcoming season, we are excited to see another Atlantic League veteran signed by Major League Baseball.”
“We are very much looking forward to that future World Series matchup that will feature teams led by Patrick Osborn and Lance Burkhart,” Day added.
Before taking over managerial duties in Southern Maryland, Burkhart, 40, was a right-handed catcher who was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1997. He spent eight seasons playing in the Montreal, Milwaukee, Baltimore, and Texas organizations before joining the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2005. Burkhart’s final season behind the plate came in 2009 when he played 95 games for the Blue Crabs. He then took over as hitting coach for the Lancaster Barnstormers under Blue Crabs inaugural Manager Butch Hobson in 2010 and remained there through the 2013 season.
Burkhart began managing the Blue Crabs in 2014 and immediately faced stiff competition from Freedom Division rivals. With the Blue Crabs finishing the first half of the 2014 season with a 29-41 record, Burkhart and his coaching staff helped to improve the team’s second-half record to 39-31. Additionally, Burkhart’s team finished near the top of the league in a variety of offensive categories by the end of the season.
“I would like to thank the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and the Atlantic League for the opportunity to continue to pursue my dream of becoming a Major League Manager,” said Burkhart. “Most importantly, I think it is imperative that the fans understand that I would not be where I am without their support. Being able to manage Southern Maryland’s favorite team in front of all of its passionate fans was an absolute blessing and an experience that I will not soon forget.”
Stan Cliburn Signed as Blue Crabs Manager
In a related announcement, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs have signed Stan Cliburn to manage the team in 2015.
Cliburn, 58, was drafted by the California Angels in 1974. At age 23, Cliburn reached Major League Baseball with the California Angels; he appeared in 54 games during the 1980 season.
After retiring as a player, the Jackson, Miss. native coached at various levels of minor league baseball. After stints managing two Minnesota Twins clubs, the Rochester Red Wings (triple-A International League) and the New Britain Rock Cats Double-A Eastern League), Cliburn managed the Sioux City Explorers (American Association). Most recently, Cliburn was the hitting/bench coach for the 2014 Atlantic League Champion Lancaster Barnstormer.
“I am thrilled at the opportunity to manage the Blue Crabs,” said Cliburn. “Having a chance to manage a team that puts such a focus on winning is an exciting challenge. I am ready to go.”
Cliburn will be introduced at the Blue Crab’s Hot Stove Banquet which is scheduled for March 14 at Regency Furniture Stadium. In addition to Cliburn, the banquet will feature ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian. Tickets are available for purchase by clicking here. Fans are encouraged to secure tickets early as seating is limited.