The Grizzlies are adding another (Randy Wells is pitching coach) former Major League player to their field staff for the 2017 season. Ken Oberkfell, a former St. Louis Cardinal third baseman, will take over as the Grizzlies’ head hitting coach.
The former World Series champion spent 15 years in the majors, seven of which were with the Cardinals where he won the Fall Classic with them in 1982. During his time in the big leagues, the southern Illinois native put together a .278 career batting average with 1,354 hits and 446 RBIs.
“I’m happy and excited about this opportunity,” said Oberkfell. “I grew up in Maryville, Illinois and it’s great to be able to work for an organization that is close to home.”
Oberkfell has coaching experience that dates back to the early 2000’s. He has been involved with independent league, minor league, and major league clubs. He took a break from coaching after the 2015 baseball season, where he coached the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
Oberkfell returns to independent league baseball for the 2017 season with a lot of excitement.
“It’s good baseball when you start working with these young kids that are hungry as they are trying to get to the minors.” Oberkfell said. “As a coach, when you get a chance to work with those players, it’s really enjoyable. I’m excited about working with Phil and helping him out in any way that I can.”
With the addition of new pitching coach and former MLB pitcher Randy Wells and now Oberkfell, Grizzlies’ manager Phil Warren will also see this season as a chance to learn.
“We look forward to learning from Ken as well as enjoying his presence on and off the field,” Warren said. “Our players will certainly benefit from his teachings and I look forward to watching him work.”
The Grizzlies’ Opening Day will be on May 12 against Florence Freedom.