PITTSBURGH -- "Banny" is back with the Bucs.The Pirates on Sunday hired former bench coach Jeff Banister as a special assistant in their baseball operations department. Before taking the Rangers' managerial job in October 2014, Banister spent 29 seasons in the Pittsburgh organization."Jeff Banister returns to the Pirates as a
PITTSBURGH -- "Banny" is back with the Bucs.
The Pirates on Sunday hired former bench coach Jeff Banister as a special assistant in their baseball operations department. Before taking the Rangers' managerial job in October 2014, Banister spent 29 seasons in the Pittsburgh organization.
"Jeff Banister returns to the Pirates as a valuable resource, instructor and advisor for our front office, Major League team and player development system," general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement. "Jeff brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and a passion for the Pirates back to the organization. We are thrilled to add a quality person and baseball man to help an organization that he loves get better."
The Rangers dismissed Banister, 54, in late September after he went 325-313 in four years as their manager. In his first two years on the job, Banister led Texas to a pair of American League West titles. In 2015, he won the American League Manager of the Year Award. The Rangers fell below .500 the previous two seasons, and general manager Jon Daniels said the club needed a "new voice" in the dugout.
Shortly after Banister was let go by the Rangers, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle reached out to his friend and former bench coach. Hurdle told reporters that Banister was a "good baseball man" who would get another opportunity to prove himself. Fittingly, it will be with Pittsburgh.
"That's the great thing about this game: People can go another place and provide value or a skill or a talent and still be productive," Hurdle said in September. "Just because you were fired at one place doesn't mean you're a failure. It's an event, not a person. Jeff's definitely not a failure. He's a good man and a good manager."
Banister is also a familiar face for the Pirates. Selected by the Bucs in the 1986 MLB Draft, he spent seven years playing in their system and recorded a pinch-hit single in his only Major League at-bat in '91. Banister served as a Minor League manager, Minor League field coordinator and Major League field coordinator for the Pirates before becoming their interim bench coach in 2010. He was Hurdle's bench coach from 2011-14.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog.