August 29, 2017
ROUND ROCK, Texas - After guiding the Memphis Redbirds to a record-setting season, first-year manager Stubby Clapp (Windsor, Ont.) has been elected the Pacific Coast League's 2017 Manager of the Year through a vote of field managers, media representatives and team officials.
Clapp, a longtime Canadian national team player and coach, is the first Redbirds skipper to receive the honour in the team's 20-year PCL history.
Clapp has led the Redbirds to a franchise record in wins, a mark set with Memphis' 84th victory of the season on August 21. The Memphis roster has featured 57 players, 18 of whom have played for their parent club St. Louis and seven of whom made their Major League debut.
The Redbirds clinched the American Southern Division on August 13 with a win at Nashville. Memphis, who currently owns a 22-game lead in the division, is seeking to become the third team in the league's history to win a division by 20 or more games. The division format was established in 1963, with only the 1970 Spokane Indians (26 games) and the 1981 Albuquerque Dukes (25 games) accomplishing the feat.
Under the direction of the 44-year-old, Memphis went a franchise monthly-best 22-6 in July, a stretch that featured 12 straight home wins from July 3-27. The Redbirds won a club all-time-best 11 consecutive games from April 28-May 8, seven of which were on the road. The team also went nearly fourth months without losing a series, either winning or splitting 27 straight sets.
The Canadian is in his 11th professional season as a coach, including his third managing. He previously led the Astros' short-season Tri-City ValleyCats to an 84-67 record, including a New York-Penn League finals appearance in 2012. Clapp was also a prominent member of the Redbirds franchise as a player. From the 1999-2002 seasons, he appeared in 425 games and sits atop the Redbirds' career leaders in walks and triples. Clapp was part of one of the franchise's two PCL Championship teams, hitting three home runs and driving in 11 during the 2000 postseason.
Clapp joins the likes of Tommy Lasorda (1970), Terry Collins (1988), Charlie Manuel (1992) and Ryne Sandberg (2010) to have won this award. The PCL has honoured the top manager annually since 1967. Colorado Springs' Rick Sweet, who has led the Sky Sox to their first postseason appearance in 20 years, was this season's runner-up. Greg Gross (Reno), Keith Johnson (Salt Lake) and Tony DeFrancesco (Fresno) also received votes.