Becomes second skipper after Gaetti steps down
Sugar Land Skeeters President Jay Miller went deep to left field to find a replacement for manager Gary Gaetti, who stepped down after six years at the helm of the local baseball team.
Pete Incaviglia, a left fielder who played 12 years in the Major Leagues with six different teams – including two stints with the Houston Astros – has been named the second skipper in Skeeters history.
“The Skeeters are one of the best organizations in independent baseball. I’m very honored and privileged to be their second manager,” Incaviglia said.
He said his relationship with Miller and his respect for team owners Bob and Marcie Zlotnik made it an easy decision to come to Sugar Land.
“The Zlotnik family is a baseball family,” he said. “They put their trust in me and I’m going to do my best to not let them down.”
Miller, a former executive with the Texas Rangers, said he is pleased to be reacquainted with his old friend.
“I have known Pete since 1985 when he was a first-round pick of the Texas Rangers,” he said. “I am very excited to work with Pete and know he will do an outstanding job of the manager of the Sugar Land Skeeters. We are lucky to have Pete with us. Great days are ahead for the Skeeters.”
Incaviglia said he hopes to continue the championship tradition of Skeeters baseball.
“I plan to put together a baseball team the fans and the city and the organization can really be proud of,” he said. “I like to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. We’ll be very athletic.”
Incaviglia was an Oklahoma State University standout who was the eighth overall pick in the 1985 amateur draft by the Montreal Expos. What happened next led to the creation of what is called the Inclaviglia Rule in Major League Baseball.
Inclaviglia refused to play in the Expos minor league system, so he was traded to the Rangers. He made his debut on April 8, 1986, without ever playing in the minor leagues. As a result of the trade, Major League Baseball made a rule prohibiting a team from trading a drafted player until he has been under contract to the club for at one year. In 2015 the rule was changed to allow teams to trade drafted players after the World Series concluded.
The left fielder played for the Rangers from 1986-1990. He spent 1991 with the Detroit Tigers, 1992 with the Astros, 1993-94 with the Philadelphia Phillies and then spent a season in Japan with the Chiba Lotte Marines. He came back to the Phillies in 1996 but was traded to the Baltimore Orioles where he played into the 1997 season. He concluded the year with the New York Yankees. He split his last season in 1998 between the Tigers and Astros.
Much like the legendary Babe Ruth, Inclaviglia was known for his power but also his tendency to strike out. He led the league in strikeouts in 1986 and 1988 and had 1,277 career strikeouts. He still owns single-season NCAA records with 48 home runs and 143 runs-batted-in.
He began his coaching career at a hitting coach for the Tigers’ AA affiliate Erie Seawolves. In 2007 he was named the inaugural manager for the Grand Prairie AirHogs in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. He left for a year to be the manager of the Laredo Lemurs and then returned to the AirHogs as the hitting coach.