By: Matt Rothman
Former MLB star Juan Pierre was officially named the new head coach for the Parkland Pokers 10U baseball team.
A former World Series Champion with the Florida Marlins, Pierre is coaching the Parkland Poker’s 10U baseball team and helping out with the 8U team as an assistant coach.
“I’m past my playing days, so I’m just about giving back to this game with the kids,” Pierre said. “I prefer being an assistant and being in the background, but the opportunity came, and I agreed to it.”
Pierre played professionally for 14 seasons and moved to Parkland in 2004 while playing with the Chicago Cubs. He is a lifetime .295 hitter and finished less than 800 hits away from 3,000 in his career.
After retiring, Pierre decided to get into coaching. While he prefers staying out of the spotlight, watching his kids play is the most challenging thing he has ever done.
“I know I have no control when my kids play, but I’m more nervous watching them play than I was in Game 6 of the World Series,” Pierre added.
He also mentioned that while none of his players were born during his prime, he wants to see his team put the ball in play and be aggressive like he was during his big league career.
Pierre will teach the kids the fundamentals of the game. While winning is always fun, he wants to make sure these players improve as they move up through high school and beyond.
“I think Juan Pierre checks all of those boxes and a few more as well,” said Greg Raley, Director of Baseball operations. “Anytime you can bring someone in with his knowledge and experience at the highest level of our game and combine that with the quality person he is along with his family is a win for everyone involved.”
Pierre’s team will hold tryouts on December 7 and 10 from 7-9 p.m. at Pine Trails Park. They will also take place on December 12 from 6-8 p.m.
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student. He also works for the Mohave Valley Daily News in Bullhead City, Arizona covering high school sports.
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