The Trenton Thunder officially announced today that Tony Franklin will return for his seventh season managing the New York Yankees’ Double-A affiliate. He’s won two Eastern League championships and taken his team to the playoffs in four of six seasons with Trenton. The skipper recorded his 1,000 career managerial win and was named Eastern League Manager of the Year in 2012.
“Tony Franklin is a true professional and a great asset to the Thunder and our community,” Thunder General Manager Will Smith said in the team’s press release. “We’re happy to welcome Tony back to guide the team during our 20th season celebration.”
Former major leaguer Tommy Phelps is returning for his fifth season as the team’s pitching coach, and coach Luis Dorante will be back for his second season. Hitting coach Justin Turner (not the New York Mets’ infielder) is a new addition to the Trenton staff. He’s spent the last two seasons as the Tampa Yankees hitting coach and played four seasons of affiliated baseball in the Angels (2001-04) and Red Sox (2004) organizations.
The Thunder also announced the inaugural “Jersey Pinstripes,” a hot stove dinner & benefit, that will be held Thursday, January 31st, 2013 at the Trenton Marriott.
The event will be emceed by New Jersey’s own Joe Piscopo thanks to Roma Bank and will feature appearances by former Yankee player, Manager and General Manager Gene “Stick” Michael, Philadelphia Phillies TV Broadcaster Tom McCarthy, former Major Leaguer Steve Braun, New Jersey native and Boston prospect Jayson Hernandez and more to be announced soon. The event will benefit Trenton Thunder Charities and Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Tickets are $94 and can be ordered here.