The Mets didn’t have to look far for their newest minor-league coach. Just a quick trip down Grand Central Parkway, actually.
Longtime St. John’s baseball coach Ed Blankmeyer was named manager of the Class A Brooklyn Cyclones Monday, taking the spot vacated by Edgardo Alfonzo, who was dismissed after his three-year contract expired at the end of last season.
Blankmeyer resigned after 24 years coaching at St. John’s, the school announced, ending a tenure that produced 23 winning seasons, five Big East Tournament titles and six Big East regular-season championships. His 347 conference victories are a Big East record. With an 829-500-4 career record at St. John’s, the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee is also the winningest coach in the school’s history.
"While I've cherished my time at St. John's, I'm ready to enter this new and exciting stage of my professional career,” Blankmeyer said in a statement on the school’s website. “[I] look forward to cheering on the Johnnies from the stands. Our program is in great hands and I'm confident that St. John's will continue to succeed on the diamond for many years to come."
Blankmeyer has coached a number of major leaguers, including Joe Panik at St. John's and Craig Biggio, Mo Vaughn and John Valentin when he was an assistant at Seton Hall. In total, 91 of his players at St. John’s have at one point joined major-league organizations.
Blankmeyer will the be the 12th coach in the Cyclones’ 20-year history, and will be filling some mighty big shoes after Alfonzo’s surprising dismissal. The Cyclones were New York-Penn League champions last season, and their 43-32 record was tied for the best in the league. Alfonzo has stayed with the organization in an ambassador-type role.
The rest of Blankmeyer’s staff has yet to be announced.
“Ed Blankmeyer is an absolute and unquestioned legend in the history of St. John's, the Big East, and college baseball," St. John's director of athletics Mike Cragg said in a statement. "Legends are not replaced or forgotten, so today we recognize not only all of his amazing achievements on the diamond but the incredible legacy of players, staff, and coaches who have been touched by Coach Blankmeyer during his long tenure at St. John's. Over his 25 years as our head baseball coach, he has personified the spirit of the school in always finding a way to win while doing it with the highest integrity and class.”
The Mets also announced Lorenzo Bundy would be the new manager for Double-A Binghamton. Bundy, a former minor leaguer, spent 10 years coaching in the Dodgers organization and has 15 years of minor-league managerial experience. He’s also served as the Diamondbacks’ first-base coach and the Dodgers’ third-base coach.