"I missed the competitiveness, the working with the guys and getting them better, developing them," Whisler told The Oklahoman. "It was great to be home with my family for a year, but I missed baseball and it's great to be back."
Whisler spoke having returned as a coach for the AAA Oklahoma RedHawks. He was resuming a coaching career that stretched back to the late-1980s, one that began after a brief career as a player.
That return also wasn't the first time Whisler left and then came back to pro ball. Previous times, he left for college ball.
Whisler's pro career began in 1985, taken by the Blue Jays in the 27th round of the draft out of Oklahoma State University.
At Oklahoma State, Whisler helped his team to the 1984 College World Series. He knocked a bases-loaded triple in one game there.
With the Blue Jays, Whisler started at rookie Medicine Hat. He hit .265 in 58 games. He then moved to single-A Florence in 1986. He hit .279 there, ending his brief career.
From there, Whisler soon went into coaching. He served as an assistant coach back at Oklahoma State for 1988 and 1989. In 1990, he joined the pros, serving as a coach at single-A Gastonia for the Rangers.
Whisler stayed with Gastonia for 1991. He continued as a minor league instructor for the Rangers through 1994. For 1995, he accepted a head coaching job at Edmonds Community College in Washington state.
"I love pro ball. This is different, but I like it," Whisler told The Seattle Times that May. "I like the kids. They're hungry and eager to learn. The player development is what I like best about it, to watch them improve, then go on to the next level. That's my job, to get that done for them."
Soon, though, Whisler was back in the pros. He was also on his way to the majors.
For 1997, he joined the Padres as manager in the rookie Arizona League. In 2000, he became hitting coach at AAA Las Vegas.
After a stint in the Marlins organization, Whisler joined the Reds for 2004 as major league first base coach and infield instructor. In July 2005, Whisler worked with third baseman Edwin Encarnacion on his throwing.
"We worked on keeping his front side together," Whisler told MLB.com. "A lot of times when he goes to throw, his front side opens up, and that makes the ball have a lot of run on it. We try to make him more accurate on the throw."
Whisler worked with the Reds for those two seasons. He then took a year off and coached two seasons with the Rangers at AAA Oklahoma.
More recently, Whisler has been back in Oklahoma, working with The Bullpen as an infield instructor with the Whisler Infield Academy.
- Seattle Times, May 3, 1995: Whisler Shifts From Pros to CC Ranks
- MLB.com, July 4, 2005: Notes: Encarnacion works on throwing
- The Oklahoman, May 4, 2007: Whisler stays in Oklahoma
Made the Majors: 800 - 48.1%-X
Never Made Majors: 862-51.9%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 347
10+ Seasons in the Minors:202