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Friday, May 10, 2013

Gerry Groninger, Always Wanted - 3238

Gerry Groninger had been a pitching coach at rookie Billings and single-A Cedar Rapids for a total of three seasons. In 1990, he got to try his hand at managing.

"It's something that I always wanted to do,'' Groninger told The Associated Press that January. "Three years ago, when I first came there with Dave (Keller), I was sure this was something I would like to try and see what I could do with it."

What Groninger could do was manage over four minor league seasons for two organizations. His managerial career, though, apparently ended suddenly in his fifth, Goninger moving on for what were termed personal reasons.

Groninger's baseball career began back in 1981 as a player, taken by the Reds in the 26th round of the draft out of the University of Northern Colorado.

Groninger's playing career, though, was brief, just two seasons. That first year, the catcher got into just six games, four at short-season Eugene and two at rookie Billings. He went 1 for 16.

The next season, Groninger returned to Billings, this time getting into 27 games, hitting .246. It was his final season as a player.

By 1987, Groninger was back with Billings, this time as a pitching coach. He spent two seasons there, then moved to single-A Cedar Rapids as pitching coach for 1989. In 1990, he was again back at Billings, this time as manager.

In August 1990, Groninger's Mustangs came back from an 8-2 deficit to tie a game against Salt Lake, but they couldn't seal the win, according to The Deseret News.

"The fact we came back was good. The fact we made so many mistakes wasn't. You can't make four errors and expect to be in a game, but we were," Groninger told The News.

For 1991, Groninger moved to the Tigers system and single-A Fayetteville. He stayed there for two seasons before moving to high-A Lakeland for 1993.

In 1993, Groninger saw his Tigers go on streaks, winning and losing. That month, his Tigers were on a losing one, with 12 losses in 16 games, according to The Lakeland Ledger.

"We'll go out one night all fired up, swing the bats well and play a good game, but for some reason, we can't seem to put games like that together back-to-back," Groninger told The Ledger.

Groninger then returned to Lakeland for 1994, but his return was brief. He resigned mid-April for personal reasons, according to The Ledger. He hasn't been recorded as managing or coaching since.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,120
Made the Majors: 662 - 59.1%
Never Made Majors: 458-40.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 287
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 171

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