PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Juan Samuel is going back where he started.
The Philadelphia Phillies hired Samuel to be their third-base coach on Thursday. Samuel, who was Baltimore’s interim manager for 51 games this season, was a three-time All-Star with the Phillies in the 1980s.
“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “I’m ecstatic going back and joining an elite group of players and manager. It’s a dream come true.”
Samuel replaces first-base coach Davey Lopes. Sam Perlozzo will shift from third to first. Samuel’s duties also will include coaching the outfielders. Perlozzo will take over baserunning instruction.
Lopes spent the last four seasons with the Phillies, and played a significant role in the team’s success in stealing bases. Under Lopes, the Phillies led the league in stolen-base percentage four straight seasons.
“When I talked to Sammy on the phone, I could see how interested he was in coaching baserunners and I figured a baserunning coach should coach first base,” manager Charlie Manuel said, explaining Perlozzo’s move.
Samuel, a member of the Phillies’ Wall of Fame, is the 34th person to play and coach for the team. He began his career as a second baseman before finishing as an outfielder.
Samuel batted .259 with 161 home runs, 703 RBIs and 396 stolen bases in 1,720 games for Philadelphia and six other teams. But he’s mostly known for his time spent with the Phillies even though he hasn’t worn their pinstriped uniform since 1989.
“Every time I talk to people, they say: ‘I remember you with the Phillies’,” Samuel said. “I think it’s because my best years were there.”
Samuel spent the previous four seasons as third-base coach for the Orioles, including a short stint as interim manager after Dave Trembley was fired. The Orioles went 17-34 under Samuel. Samuel previously was a coach with the Detroit Tigers for seven years immediately following his 16-year playing career.
“He’s a tremendous coach,” Manuel said. “He’s very versatile, a big addition to our coaching staff.”
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