Bridgeport, CT - The Bridgeport Bluefish on Thursday announced that Pete Rose will return as manager of the Bluefish for “Ken Shepard Day” on Sunday, September 14th. Rose previously managed Bridgeport this season for one game on Monday, June 16th, leading the ‘Fish to a 2-0 victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers.
“Pete is very excited to come back to Bridgeport and take the helm once again on this very special day,” says Bluefish Assistant General Manager Jamie Toole. “We encourage everyone to join us as we honor Ken Shepard.”
Pete Rose played 24 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, and Montreal Expos. He is the all-time MLB leader with 4,256 hits, 3,562 games played, and 14,053 at-bats. The slugger was named National League Rookie of the Year in 1963, National League MVP in 1973, was the recipient of two Gold Glove awards (1969, 1970) and a Silver Slugger award (1981), appeared in 17 All-Star games at five different positions (1B, 2B, 3B, LF, & RF), and won three World Series rings (Reds 1975 & ’76, Phillies 1980).
Following his playing career, Rose then went on to manage the Cincinnati Reds from 1984-89, accumulating a 412-373 record as Reds skipper. Prior to his managerial role with the Bluefish earlier this year, the all-time Major League Baseball hits leader last managed a professional baseball game 25 years ago on August 24, 1989 with the Cincinnati Reds.
The Sunday, September 14th, 1:05 pm game vs. the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs will be "Ken Shepard Day", in honor of the team's current General Manager, who is fighting stage 4 kidney cancer. Earlier this season, Shepard announced 2014 would be his last as GM, as his battle against Cancer continued.
"Ken and I have worked together for over twenty years in the great game of baseball," says Bluefish principal owner Frank Boulton." As GM of four of my teams, Ken approached each game with a level of respect for the fans and corporate partners that is unparalleled in our industry. Ken continues to battle his kidney cancer with great dignity and courage. He will be sorely missed by the entire Bluefish community. Hopefully, all of Ken's Bluefish fans will join us on September 14 as we celebrate and honor this remarkable man's baseball career."
Shepard, General Manager of the Bluefish since 2012, has been involved in professional baseball for over 20 years. He has been GM of several teams, including clubs in Geneva, New York, Prince William, Virginia, Savannah, Georgia, Wilmington, Delaware and the Atlantic City Surf, one of six Atlantic League charter member teams. A self professed "innovative risk taker that loves change", Shepard once slept in a press box in Geneva and vowed to stay there until the team broke its losing streak. The gimmick became national news and helped increase attendance 36% over the previous season. Two of Shepard's operations won the prestigious Larry MacPhail Promotional Award, given to a club each season that demonstrates best promotional efforts in minor league baseball.
On Ken Shepard Day, the Bluefish will be wearing commemorative jerseys that will be auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the Shepard family. The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs will be making an announcement prior to the game regarding plans to honor Shepard going forward.
For tickets, please CLICK HERE. For further information, fans are encouraged to visit the team on the web (bridgeportbluefish.com), Facebook (facebook.com/BridgeportBluefish), or Twitter (@BPTBluefish).
The Bridgeport Bluefish are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard. For further information, call 203-210-BLUE (2583) or visit BridgeportBluefish.com.