By Tim Fitzgerald
Vallejo, CA – The Pacific Association of Professional Baseball announced that its 2014 winner for manager of the year is Vallejo Admirals Manager Garry Templeton II.In Templeton’s first season with the Admirals he lead them to a 44-34 record, and within one game of the 2014 Pacific Association second-half championship.
“It is an honor to receive the manager of the Year award and to be recognized by your peers for all the work you put in,” Templeton said after learning he had won the award. “I would like to thank Bob Young for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to manage the Vallejo Admirals.”
Templeton also showed his appreciation for the organization as a whole, “Thank you to the front office staff for staying together and continuing to support the team and work hard. There is a lot of stuff that they do that goes unseen that helps us out tremendously and allows us to go out and do our jobs.”
And of course, he wanted to thank his players, “Through the good and bad those guys supported me, and showed up and played hard every day,” Templeton said. “Every season is different. You go in with goals and expectations of winning and moving people on and sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t.
“This season we had more than our fair share of trials and tribulations. But that’s what makes it so special, is going through all of it and making it to the end. We had a really good team, and at the end we came up just one game short. But when it was all said and done, we ended up with an amazing group of players, an amazing staff and a very enjoyable season.”
It was Templeton’s first season with the Admirals, but he is very familiar with the Pacific Association. Templeton spent the previous two seasons managing the Hawaii Stars of the North American Baseball League & Pacific Association.
Admirals owner Bob Young was thrilled to learn of Templeton’s achievement, “I am so happy and proud of Garry, winning the Pacific Association’s Manager of the Year award. It could not have gone to a nicer, more dedicated, and talented manager of young men that represented the Vallejo Admirals.
“It takes a very special individual to successfully guide young professionals and to teach them the nuances of the game and life both on and off the field. Garry is not only a dedicated and committed baseball professional, but he has that unique gift that enables his teams and his players to excel. The Admirals are thrilled for him, congratulate him on this deserved accolade, and look forward to many more winning seasons with him at the helm.”
Templeton II is known for his cool and calm demeanor. When his players see him handle the good and the bad with the same even keel, it helped them do the same. And it made the moments when he would have to stick up for one of his players or argue with an umpire that much more effective.
Pitcher Devon Ramirez, who played for Templeton II with the Hawaii Stars and with the Admirals, said Templeton might not even realize how great of a motivator he is. “He’s a players coach, a guy that unknowingly fires up guys to play for him.”
His aggressiveness on the base paths, letting his players play, and always finding a teaching moment are trademarks of Templeton’s style of managing.
In 2014, he had to rebuild the bullpen in the second half of the season, and also dealt with defections in his coaching staff. Dealing with that adversity all while his team’s play improved definitely played a factor in the voting.
Templeton II began his pro coaching career in 2009 where he was the hitting and bench coach for the Long Beach Armada. He served as the hitting and bench coach for the Golden Baseball League Champion Chico Outlaws in 2010, and in 2011 he served as the hitting and bench coach for Na Koa Ikaika Maui.
Templeton II was an All-Palomar League selection in the San Diego area at Poway High School in 1996. He was selected as a “Draft and Follow” by the New York Yankees in the June 1996 Major League Baseball Draft. Templeton II opted to go to college and enrolled at Palomar Community College.
At Palomar, Templeton II became an All-Pacific Coast Conference selection during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. After Palomar he choose to continue his collegiate playing days at Division I North Carolina A&T in the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference. In June 1999, the Anaheim Angels selected Templeton in the Major League Baseball Draft.
Templeton played in the Anaheim Angels farm system from 1999-2001 and continued his professional playing career for multiple teams in the Independent Professional Leagues from 2001-2008.
Templeton played for the OC Flyers from 2005-2007 where he was selected to the Golden Baseball League’s inaugural All-Star Game in 2005 and lead the team in hits, doubles and runs in 2006. During his professional career, Templeton has started a season at every position in the field except for first base, pitcher and catcher.
His father, Garry Templeton, played shortstop in the major leagues for 16 years with St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres and New York Mets.
During the offseason Templeton trains players of all ages from minor leaguers to little leaguers. He conducts camps, clinics and private lessons, and coaches for Westview High School and the California Lookouts Organization.
The voting body was comprised of league front office personnel, team managers and broadcasters. Voters selected a first, second and third place recipient for every award.
The league has three more postseason awards to announce. Rookie of the year will be announced on October 1st, pitcher of the year on October 6th, and MVP on October 8th.