This season, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will be celebrating the franchise’s past and present during the 25th season of existence as the Red Barons, Yankees and RailRiders.
So it seems fitting that two of the three inductees into the International League Hall of Fame represent the franchise, as former Red Baron Jeff Manto and current SWB manager Dave Miley were selected for the honor in an announcement made by the I.L. on Tuesday.
Miley, who was manager for the club’s last season in Columbus, will start his eighth with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and second under the team moniker RailRiders. He spent his first six seasons in SWB as skipper of the Yankees. He has compiled a 565-436 record with SWB and is just nine wins shy of breaking the franchise mark for managerial wins by Marc Bombard.
In his seven previous seasons with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Miley has led the team to a league-record four straight International League North Division titles and a Governors’ Cup Championship in 2008. He also claimed I.L. Manager of the Year accolades in 2007 and 2012. The 2012 season was perhaps the most impressive, as he skippered a team playing all its games on the road and still won the division title.
Manto played for the Red Barons in 1993, when he led the club with 17 home runs, 88 RBI, a .379 on-base percentage and a .503 slugging percentage. In addition to those team-leading stats, he also batted .289 in 106 games for the team when it was the top affiliate of the Phillies. The next season, while playing for Norfolk and Rochester, Manto clubbed a league-high 31 homers with 100 RBI to earn the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
Miley, who will turn 52 on the RailRiders’ Opening Day on April 3, began his managerial career in the I.L. with the Indianapolis Indians, posting consecutive winning seasons and second-place finishes in 1998 and 1999. He changed cities for the 2000 season, going to Louisville, where he spent four seasons leading the Bats to the Governors’ Cup championship in 2001 over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. His worst season with Louisville was his first when he led the team to a 71-73 record. The other three seasons, the team had winning records.
In 2003, he finally got a stint in the big leagues as manager of the Cincinnati Reds, spending parts of three seasons with the Reds before joining the New York Yankees organization in 2006 to manage the Columbus Clippers.
Miley has been I.L. all-star manager three times, in 2002, 2008, and 2013, and was a coach for the team in 1998. He has a career record in the league of 1,081-890. When he steps on the field on Opening Day, he will do something only a handful of I.L. Hall of Famers have done. Only four previous inductees spent time in the league in an on-field capacity after their induction — 2013 inductee Larry Parrish is another, currently managing Toledo.
Also being selected to the establishment is Toledo broadcaster Jim Weber, who has called more than 5,000 consecutive games for the team. He is the first broadcaster elected.
All three inductees have been added to the I.L. Hall of Fame plaque display and will be presented with The Curtain Call statue at individual enshrinement ceremonies during the 2014 season. The Hall of Fame plaque display does not have a permanent home; instead it is a traveling establishment.
Miley’s ceremony will be Saturday, June 7, when the RailRiders host Toldeo and the first 2,500 fans will receive a Dave Miley statue as part of the team’s season-long celebration of 25 years of SWB baseball. Earlier this offseason, he won a fan vote to have his likeness turned into a giveaway item.