Indians name Alomar first-base coach
CLEVELAND -- Sandy Alomar Jr.'s baseball career has brought him back home.
The Indians' popular former All-Star catcher has been hired by new Cleveland manager Manny Acta as the team's first-base coach. Alomar had spent the past two seasons as a catching instructor for the New York Mets. He will also mentor Cleveland's catchers.
"He's going to be huge overall for us," Acta said.
Alomar played 20 seasons in the majors -- 11 in Cleveland -- before retiring in 2007. While in New York, he served on the same coaching staff as his father, Sandy Alomar Sr., who was the team's bench coach.
The 43-year-old Alomar was a six-time All-Star with the Indians, who enshrined him in their Hall of Fame last season. He was the AL's rookie of the year in 1990.
With Alomar behind the plate, Cleveland won five AL Central titles and made two trips to the World Series.
Acta said he has known Alomar Jr. for a few years and has been impressed with his ability to teach young players.
"He's already a good coach," Acta said. "I know what kind of individual he is. He's a guy who has the potential to do whatever he wants to do in this game."
In 985 games for Cleveland, Alomar batted .277 with 92 homers, 453 RBIs and scored 416 runs. While his statistics weren't eye-catching, Alomar won over Indians fans with his all-out hustle and attitude.
Alomar's 1997 season was an unforgettable one. He was named MVP of the All-Star game in Cleveland and hit a dramatic homer off New York's Mariano Rivera in the AL playoffs, helping the Indians advance to their second ALCS in three years.
Acta only needs to hire a hitting coach to complete his staff. He plans to interview two candidates in Venezuela and hopes to have his choice in place by early December.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press