Monday, April 27, 2009


Tonight will be a homecoming for more than one man. Ken Griffey Jr. is the obvious one, being that he was on the White Sox six months ago. The other one is not so obvious.

Don Wakamatsu played a handful of games in 1991 for the White Sox at the Major League level. It would be his only MLB experience as a player. I'm not sure what it was about him, but Don has stuck in my head ever since. That's pretty good for a third string catcher, behind Carlton Fisk and Ron Karkovice.

Maybe it was the fact that he caught Charlie Hough and his amazing knuckleball. Maybe it was his name. Whatever the initial attraction, I've tried to follow Don Wakamatsu throughout his career. It makes it more difficult when that player is mostly in the minors. It makes it extremely difficult when the player retires and starts coaching in the minors.

It's hard finding information on coaches in the minors. Before all these great sites started popping up with information up the wazoo, it was hit or miss finding this information. Sometimes, it's still difficult. Unless that person is in that position right this moment, you may not be able to find it.

I was excited when I heard that Don would be coaching for the Rangers. I followed him over to Oakland, where he was the bench coach in 2008. I thought that he would stay put for a few years, but I learned that the Mariners passed up Joey Cora and selected Don Wakamatsu as their new manager. Finally, I would see more Wakamatsu cards!

It was worth the wait. Don seems to be managing the Mariners off to a great start. Sure, Don has been back to Chicago as a coach. Coming back as a manager is a completely different experience. I'll be watching tonight to catch a glimpse of Wok.

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