Louisville Bats mark season with new manager and "Buddy Grams" - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Bats celebrate new season with new manager and "Buddy Grams"

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Former Major League manager Jim Riggleman will manage the Louisville Bats in 2013. Riggleman will become the third Bats manager in as many years following Rick Sweet (2005-2011) and David Bell (2012). The Cincinnati Reds have yet to name the Bats' hitting coach or pitching coach for 2013.

Riggleman, 60, will join the Bats for his second season in Reds' player development. He was the manager of the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos in 2012 and compiled a 68-70 (.493) record. Riggleman is the former manager of the Major League's San Diego Padres (1992-94), Chicago Cubs (1995-99), Seattle Mariners (2008) and Washington Nationals (2009-11). In his 12 seasons as a Major League manager, he compiled a 662-824 (.445) record and in 1998 led the Cubs to the playoffs. Riggleman has more than 30 years as a manager or coach, including portions of 19 seasons at the big league level, after beginning his coaching career in 1981 in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

This will be Riggleman's third stint in Louisville. He served as a coach with the Louisville Redbirds in 1982 before leaving in June for another position. He also spent time in Louisville during the 1988 season as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals' player development staff.

Born in Fort Dix, N.J., Riggleman attended Frostburg State University in Maryland before going on to an eight-year minor-league playing career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cardinals as a first baseman and outfielder.

The 2013 season marks both the Bats' 14th year at Louisville Slugger Field and 14th year as an affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The Bats open their 2013 season at home on Thursday, April 4 against the Toledo Mud Hens at 6:35 p.m.

Full and partial season tickets, along with group outings and suite rentals are available by calling the Bats front office at (502) 212-2287 or visiting www.batsbaseball.com  . Single-game tickets, including April 20 for Thunder Over Louisville and July 3 for the Independence Day fireworks show, will be available March 1.

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BUDDY GRAMS! For Valentine's Day!

Buddy Bat, the Louisville Bats loveable mascot, is ready to help fans have the best Valentine's Day ever, by offering Valentine's Day Buddy-Grams.

Buddy Bat is offering a special package to help fans show their affection for someone special this Valentine's Day. The package includes a dozen roses provided by Nanz and Kraft Florists, a Bats logo hat (option of pink or khaki while supplies last) and two Field Reserved tickets to any 2013 Louisville Bats home game (excluding Thunder & July 3) - the perfect gift for any Bats fan! Buddy Bat will deliver the packages on Feb. 13 or Feb. 14. The cost per package is $100.

Delivery is free to those within a 30 mile radius of Louisville Slugger Field. Additional costs apply to areas outside of this delivery zone, and are considered on a case-by-case basis. All orders will be delivered between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the selected date. Valentine's Day Buddy-Grams are limited in number, and are available to fans on a first-come first-serve basis.

Packages can be ordered by calling the Bats Front Office at (502) 212-2287.

The Bats open the 2013 season on Thursday, April 4 against the Toledo Mud Hens at Louisville Slugger Field. All full and partial season tickets are available now by calling (502) 212-2287. For up-to-date news and notes throughout the offseason, visit www.batsbaseball.com.com , follow the club on Twitter (@louisvillebats) or like the team on Facebook.

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