10/07/2011 9:50 AM
CHICAGO – Former Chicago White Sox All-Star Robin Ventura has been named the team’s 39th manager, the club announced today. Ventura agreed to terms with the White Sox on a multiyear deal.
“When I met with the media as our season ended, I identified one person at the very top of my managerial list,” said Ken Williams, White Sox general manager. “I wanted someone who met very specific criteria centered around his leadership abilities. Robin Ventura was that man. His baseball knowledge and expertise, his professionalism, his familiarity with the White Sox and Chicago and his outstanding character make him absolutely the right person to lead our clubhouse and this organization into the seasons ahead.”
Ventura, 44, was hired by the White Sox as a special advisor to director of player development Buddy Bell on June 6, 2011. He now becomes the 17th former White Sox player to manage the club.
“When I rejoined the White Sox this June, I said this was my baseball home and that part of me never left the White Sox organization,” Ventura said. “My family and I are thrilled to be returning to Chicago. Managing a Major League Baseball team is a tremendous honor. It’s also an opportunity and a challenge.
“I am excited to begin my career as a manager surrounded by former teammates, staff, media and White Sox fans I know very well. I already am looking forward to talking to our players, to this offseason and to getting things underway at spring training next February.”
Ventura spent 16 major-league seasons with the White Sox (1989-98), New York Mets (1999-2001), New York Yankees (2002-03) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2003-2004), playing for a managerial list that included Jeff Torborg, Bobby Valentine and Joe Torre. He won six Gold Gloves (1991-93, 1996, 1998-99) and was a two-time All-Star (1992 and 2002).
In 2,079 career games, Ventura hit .267 (1,885-7,064) with 294 home runs and 1,182 RBI. His 18 career grand slams are tied for fifth in major-league history. Ventura received votes in the American League Most Valuable Player balloting in 1991 and 1999 and appeared in five different postseasons with the White Sox (1993), Mets (1999, 2000), Yankees (2002) and Dodgers (2004).
Ventura appeared in 1,254 games over 10 seasons with the Sox, hitting .274 (1,244-4,542) with 171 home runs and 741 RBI. He ranks among the White Sox all-time leaders in grand slams (T1st, 10), walks (5th, 668), home runs (6th), RBI (8th), extra-base hits (10th, 402) and runs scored (12th, 658).
A native of Santa Maria, Calif., the White Sox selected Ventura with their first-round pick (10th overall) in the 1988 draft out of Oklahoma State University, where he led the Cowboys to the College World Series. He was awarded both the Dick Howser Trophy and the Golden Spikes Award in 1988 and still holds the NCAA Division I record with a 58-game hitting streak. Ventura won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1988.