Gerald Perry returns to Oakland in 2011 as the club's new hitting coach, a position he previously held with the A's in 2006.
Perry, hitting coach for Boston's Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket last season, began his Major League coaching career in Seattle under Manager Lou Piniella in 2000. During his three seasons there, the Mariners reeled off a 300-186 record (.617), including a 116-win playoff season in 2001 that set an American League record and tied the Major League mark (1906 Chicago Cubs) for most victories in a season. Perry, who enters his 28th season in professional baseball this spring, has also served as hitting coach with Pittsburgh (2003-05), Oakland and the Cubs (2007-09).
During the 10 Major League seasons as a hitting coach, his teams have advanced to the playoffs five times, including Mariners teams that played in the ALCS Series in 2000 and 2001, and the 2006 A's club that also appeared in the ALCS.
In his second stint as hitting coach with Piniella, his 2008 Cubs ranked second in the National League in batting average (.278) and paced the NL in runs scored (855). The average was the franchise's highest mark in 71 years. That 2008 Chicago club also finished first in the National League and second in the Majors with 636 walks. It marked the fifth time in which Perry helped an offense rank first or second in the league in walks (also 2000-02 with Seattle and 2006 with Oakland).
During his three-year stay in Seattle, the Mariners led the Majors in on-base percentage (.357) and walks (2018), and paced the American League in batting average (.278) and runs scored (2648).
Besides last season, Perry previously spent three years in the Boston organization as a minor league hitting coach with Single-A Michigan (1997) and Triple-A Pawtucket (1998), and was the club's minor league hitting coordinator in 1999.
Originally an 11th round selection by Atlanta in the 1978 Draft, Perry played parts of 13 Major League seasons with the Braves (1983-89), Kansas City Royals (1990) and St. Louis Cardinals (1991- 95). A .265 lifetime hitter with 59 home runs and 396 RBI in 1,193 games, the Savannah, Ga. native was named to the National League All-Star Team in 1988 when he batted .300 with 29 doubles, eight homers, 74 RBI and 29 stolen bases for the Braves. The previous season, 1987, he 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. When he finished his career in St. Louis, he left as the Cardinals' all-time leader in pinch hits (70).
Perry is a 1978 graduate of H.E. McCracken High School in Buffton, S.C. He and his wife, Tara, have three children, Portia, Falon and Gerald Jr.