Brian Snitker’s career path to manager

This story is taken from Mark Bowman’s Braves Beat newsletter. Click here to read the full newsletter. Subscribe to receive regular updates in your inbox.

Brian Snicker played his first professional game in 1977 for the Kingsport, Tennessee Braves. This was a year before Bobby Cox started his first term as Atlanta’s manager.

In 1980, as Snicker’s brief career came to an end, Hank Aaron (then club executive) made the greatest decision in franchise history. Aaron gave Snitker the job of coaching, but he had no idea that the young catcher would spend the next 50 years becoming one of the most influential figures in franchise history.

It could have been easy to downplay the contract extension Snicker received last week.That is, he have After winning five consecutive division titles, he should have won his second NL Manager of the Year award last year. The general idea is that “of course He will continue to manage as long as he wants.”

But to think that Snicker will have a chance at the helm in the 2025 season, when he turns 70, is truly incredible. A man named Brian Snicker as the third base coach.

Snicker will be entering his 47th year with the Braves organization as a proud captain. His story is really great. You know how he nearly walked away from this dream job after the 2017 season when he didn’t want to work under former team executives John Hurt and John Coppolella. Those two would probably have sacked Snicker had they not been sanctioned by MLB.

Whenever Snicker talks about how former GM Frank Len fired him as third base coach and sent him to Triple-A Gwinnett to manage after the 2013 season, you can feel the anger build up. Spinning it as a promotion certainly didn’t work, especially for a guy who felt he was being demoted.

After Snicker led the Braves to the first of five NL East titles in 2018, I detailed the many trials and tribulations he’s faced over the past 40 years. As time went on, it became even more apparent that he was indeed the right man for the job when he was named interim manager six weeks later for the 2016 season.

After waiting nearly 40 years to become a major league manager, Snicker had to remove the starting pitcher (Aaron Blair) in the first inning of his first game. Things are going much better thanks to Snicker, who led the organization through a period of rough rebuilding and success that could match or even exceed what the Braves experienced in his 1990s and early 2000s. It is no exaggeration to say that it has improved.

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