11/08/2006 3:09 PM ET
Cubs name Gerald Perry hitting coach
The Chicago Cubs today announced that former first baseman and outfielder Gerald Perry has agreed to a two-year deal to become the Major League club's hitting coach.
Perry, 46, has been a Major League hitting coach for seven seasons, including last year with the American League West Division champion Oakland Athletics. Perry helped the A's rebound from a .243 team batting average in the first half to post a .279 batting average in the second half, fifth-best in baseball. Under his guidance, the A's finished second in the AL with 650 free passes - it marked the fourth time in which Perry helped an offense rank first or second in the league in walks (also 2000-2002 with Seattle).
From 2003-2005, Perry was the hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In his first season in the position, the team batting average improved 23 points from .244 (lowest in the NL) in 2002 to a .267 mark and a third place ranking in the National League in 2003.
A native of Savannah, GA, Perry was the Seattle Mariners hitting coach from 2000-2002 under current Cubs Manager Lou Piniella. In his first season with the Mariners, the team set a club record in walks (775). In 2001, Seattle led the Major Leagues in on-base percentage (.360) and runs scored (927) while leading the AL with a .288 batting average. During his three-year stint as Seattle's hitting coach, the Mariners led the Majors in on-base percentage (.357) and walks (2,018) and led the AL in batting (.278) and runs (2,648).
Prior to his time with Seattle, Perry spent three years in the Boston organization. He was the hitting coach for Single-A Michigan in 1997, the hitting coach with Triple-A Pawtucket in 1998 and was the Red Sox' minor league hitting coordinator in 1999.
Perry played 13 Major League seasons, appearing in 1,193 games with Atlanta (1983-1989), Kansas City (1990) and
St. Louis (1991-1995). He batted .265 with 150 doubles, 59 home runs and 396 RBI while stealing 142 bases. He had a career-high 12 home runs and 74 RBI with the Braves in 1987, and also set an Atlanta record with 42 stolen bases, the most by a full-time Major League first baseman since Rod Carew swiped 49 with Minnesota in 1976.
Perry, selected to the 1988 NL All-Star team, finished his career as the Cardinals all-time leader with 70 pinch hits.
Piniella's coaching staff is set for the 2007 season. Joining Perry will be: Bench Coach Alan Trammell, Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild, First Base Coach Matt Sinatro, Third Base Coach Mike Quade, Bullpen Coach Lester Strode and Special Assistant Ivan DeJesus.