(Bisons Media Release) - The New York Mets today announced that Ken Oberkfell will return as manager of the Buffalo Bisons for the 2010 season. Pitching Coach Ricky Bones will also remain a part of the Herd’s staff while Jack Voigt has been promoted from the Brooklyn Cyclones (A) to take over as the team’s new Hitting Coach.
The Mets also announced that athletic trainer Brian Chicklo and strength and conditioning coach Ken Coward will return for their second seasons with the Bisons. Buffalo opens up its 125th season on Thursday, April 8, 2010 in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The 15th manager of the Bisons in the Modern Era, Oberkfell, 53, returns for his sixth season at the helm of the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate (Norfolk Tides: 2005-06, New Orleans Zephyrs: 2007-08). In 2009, the Bisons finished 56-87. Oberkfell was named to the coaching staff of the International League All-Star team and was the first base coach during the IL’s 6-5 victory over the Pacific Coast League.
The 2010 season will mark Oberkfell’s 14th season as a minor league manager and his ninth year in the New York Mets organization. His career managerial record of 868-890 includes an 811-802 record (.503 winning percentage) in affiliated baseball. He won a Florida League State Championship with St. Lucie in 2003 and has made the playoffs in four of his last five full seasons as a manager.
Oberkfell’s 16-year major league career included eight seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. He played 137 games with the Cardinals in 1982 and helped the team to a World Series Championship. A lifetime .278-hitter with 29 home runs and 446RBI in 1,602 games, Oberkfell also played with Atlanta, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Houston and California. He led all National League second baseman in fielding percentage in 1979 (.985) and topped all NL third baseman in defense in 1982 (.972) and 1983 (.960). Oberkfell finished with more walks than strikeouts in 13 of his 16 seasons, with career totals of 546 walks to only 356 strikeouts.