Altobelli returning to field as Red Wings instructor

January 24, 1993|By Patti Singer | Patti Singer,Contributing Writer

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Joe Altobelli, one of the most successful managers the Rochester Red Wings have had, will serve as a part-time instructor for new manager Bob Miscik this season.

Altobelli, 60, continues to be the Red Wings general manager. He will assist Miscik during batting practice at home games.

The move brings Altobelli back into the Orioles family, from which he was banished in May 1985 when then-owner Edward Bennett Williams called him a "cement head" upon firing him. Two seasons earlier, Altobelli had led the Orioles to the World Series championship.

"I don't wake up every morning thinking about how I was dismissed as Orioles manager," Altobelli said. "If I'm to think about the Orioles dismissal, I must think about the '83 season as well, when everything was glorious."

Assistant general manager Doug Melvin announced Altobelli's job yesterday at the Red Wings annual shareholders meeting.

Melvin, who wasn't working for the Orioles then, said he didn't know what circumstances surrounded Altobelli's firing. Bringing him back "has the blessing of the front office," he said.

"We are excited to have a great baseball mind like Joe's," said Melvin, who told stories about learning from Altobelli when both were with the Yankees. Miscik, 34, moving up from Single-A Frederick, said he also was eager to share Altobelli's more than 40 years of baseball knowledge.

The Orioles needed a coach after they had fired Mike Young, who spent two seasons at Rochester.

Altobelli is the most successful Red Wings manager during the Orioles era. He managed the team from 1971 through 1976, during which the Red Wings compiled a 502-350 record, won two International League Governors' Cups and the Junior World Series.

Altobelli said his new non-paying job wouldn't conflict with his duties as general manager.

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