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Don Wakamatsu #22

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Full Name:
Don Wakamatsu
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STAND BY ME: Don was hired as Rangers bench coach on November 6, 2017, returning for his second stint on the club's coaching staff…his return to new manager Chris Woodward's staff was announced on November 14, 2018…served as Rangers interim manager for final 10 games in 2018, with team going 3-7 after his appointment on Sept. 21…the former Seattle Mariners manager spent five seasons on the Texas staff as bench coach (2003-06) and third base coach (2007), and with the first game of 2019 he will have served on the staff for each of the Rangers' last four full-time managers (Showalter/ Washington/Banister/Woodward)…resides in North Richland Hills in the offseason. 

COACHING CAREER: Was manager for the Seattle Mariners from start of 2009 until he was relieved of the post pregame on Aug. 9, 2010…managed Chris Woodward while the pair were both with the Mariners in 2009…became the first Asian American to be named manager of an MLB club…before re-joining Rangers staff, spent four years (2014-17) as Kansas City's bench coach, as he was at Ned Yost's side for the Royals' back-to-back World Series runs in 2014-15, including the second championship in franchise history in 2015…was Yankees special assignment scout in 2013 and had stints as bench coach at Oakland (2008) and Toronto (2011-12). Owns a career 215-248 record (.464) as a Minor League manager…before joining the Rangers' staff for the 2003 season, spent three years in the LA Angels organization as Minor League coordinator and roving catcher instructor (2001-02) as well as manager at AA Erie (2000)…managed in the Arizona Diamondbacks system from 1997-99, piloting AA El Paso (1999) and High Desert (1998), landing Cal League manager of the Year honors in 1998 after the Mavericks won their division in the second half…began 1997 as a Minor League coach before taking the reins for Peoria in the Arizona League in July…he was a player-coach for two years at Canton-Akron (1995) in the CLE organization and Port City (1996) in the SEA system. 

PLAYING CAREER: Caught for 12 years with 7 organizations from 1985-96…originally selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 11th round of the 1985 June Draft… went to Rangers major league spring training camp in 1994 as a non-roster invitee…played in just one game at Oklahoma before re-injuring right elbow and missing rest of season…had a .330 composite average at Los Angeles' Albuquerque club in 1992-93…had surgery in July, 1993 to repair partial tear of ligament in right elbow…backup catcher to Mike Piazza in 1992…began 1991 at Vancouver before promotion to Chicago White Sox on 5/20…had first hit (2nd PA) in Major League debut on 5/22/91 at California, a single to RF off Scott Lewis at the Big A…all 9 starts behind the plate came with knuckleballer Charlie Hough on the mound…returned to Vancouver on 7/3, then rejoined Chicago on 9/3…topped Southern League catchers in fielding (.990) at Birmingham in final year in Cincinnati system in 1989…tied for Midwest League lead in best percentage for throwing out baserunners at Cedar Rapids in 1987…led Pioneer League catchers in fielding (.998) and total chances (416) at Billings in 1985. 

AMATEUR: Caught for 4 years at Arizona State University… earned All-Pac 10 Conference honors in each of final 3 seasons and was team captain in 1985…lettered in baseball, basketball and football at Hayward (CA) HS and graduated 1981…earned all-league honors in baseball and football…also played in Babe Ruth and American Legion programs. 

PERSONAL: Don and his wife, the former Laura Mullin, were married on 9/23/89 and have 3 children: Jake, Luke and Jadyn…family resides in North Richland Hills and all three children attended Keller High School…Jake played in the Royals system after playing college ball at Arizona State and Arizona Christian…Luke was selected by Cleveland in the 20th round of the 2015 June draft and spent the 2018 season with High-A Lynchburg.

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