PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) have named Steve Sax as First Base Coach and Turner Ward as Assistant Hitting Coach to round out the Major League coaching staff for 2013, as announced by D-backs’ Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers.
The coaching staff boasts 2 National Leaguer Manager of the Year honors, 2 League MVP awards, 2 postseason series MVP awards, 20 All-Star appearances, 12 Louisville Slugger Silver Sluggers, 8 Rawlings Gold Gloves and 1 NL Rookie of the Year.
Manager Kirk Gibson, 55, returns for his fourth season (third full season) having compiled a 209-198 record (.514) at the helm. Hitting Coach Don Baylor, 63, enters his third season with the club. Pitching Coach Charles Nagy, 45, returns for his third season with the D-backs. Organizational-original Glenn Sherlock, 52, returns for his 16th season with the club, ninth in his current capacity as Bullpen/Catching Coach. Bench Coach Alan Trammell, 55, enters his third season with the D-backs. Matt Williams, 47, returns for his third season as the Third Base Coach and fourth overall on the staff.
Sax, 52, was a 5-time All-Star (1982, ’83, ’86, ’89 and ’90) and 1982 National League Rookie of the Year during a 14-year playing career with the Dodgers (1981-88), Yankees (1989-91), White Sox (1992-93) and Athletics (1994). In 1,769 career games, he hit .281 with 278 doubles, 47 triples, 54 homers and 550 RBI. He made 4 postseason appearances with the Dodgers in 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1988. Sax and Gibson were teammates on the 1988 World Champion Dodgers and the second baseman was on deck when Gibson hit the pinch-hit, game-winning homer in Game 1 of the Fall Classic. Sax logged 1,679 games and a .978 fielding percentage at second baseman but also spent time at third base (7 games), left field (27) and right field (6).
The Sacramento native ranks 52nd in Major League history with 442 stolen bases and finished among the Top 10 in that category eight times in a 10-year span from 1982-91, including a career high 56 steals in 1983. He ranked second in the AL in 1990 with 43 stolen bases and he swiped a Dodger-rookie record 43 bases in 1992, the 15th-highest total for a rookie in National League history.
Since his playing days, Sax has served as a professional speaker on leadership, motivation, team building and personal development. He has a website www.stevesaxspeaks.com and wrote, Shift: Change Your Mindset and You Change Your World, which is a motivational and inspirational book outlining action steps to change your mindset and to become a success. He has served as a personal coach for numerous executives and has done motivational speeches for countless organizations, among them Fortune 500 companies.
Ward, 47, enters his fifth season in the organization and first with the big league club. He spent the last two seasons managing Double-A Mobile, where he was a two-time Southern League Manager of the Year, posting a 277-153 record (.552) and winning back-to-back Southern League titles (2011-12). In 2011, he guided the BayBears to a league-best 84-54 record as the club was recognized as Baseball America’s 2011 Minor League Team of the Year.
Ward spent parts of 12 seasons in the Majors from 1990-2001 with the Indians (1990-91), Blue Jays (1991-93), Brewers (1994-96), Pirates (1997-99), D-backs (1999-2000) and Phillies (2001). In 626 career games, he hit .251 with 73 doubles, 11 triples, 39 homers and 219 RBI. In 25 games for the D-backs, he hit .227 with 5 doubles, 2 homers and 11 RBI. Ward was selected by the Yankees in the 18th round of the June 1986 free agent draft out of the University of South Alabama in Mobile, where he was a roommate of D-backs legend and Special Advisor to the President, Luis Gonzalez.