Down Coordinator of Minor League Instruction for the New York Yankees
As a hitting coach in the Major Leagues, Rick Down's teams have
been at the top, not only in batting, but setting all-time Major-League
home run records as well.
Down enters this season as the Yankees' hitting coach and
his 27th year overall in professional baseball. He spent last year as hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox and the previous
10 seasons as a major league hitting coach with the Orioles (1996-98),
and Yankees (1993-95). Under Rick’s tutelage, the Orioles slugged
a major-league record of 251 home runs in 1996, and the Yankees led
the league in batting his first two seasons in New York from 1993-94.
Down posted a 371-273 record (.676) in six seasons as a minor league
manager in the Yankees organization from 1977-78 and 89-92. He began
his coaching career at Single-A West Palm Beach in 1976, followed
by stints at Bellingham in 1977 and Stockton in 1978 before leaving
the professional ranks to coach at the University of Las Vegas from
Rick returned to professional baseball from 1985-88 as a special assignment
coach and roving hitting instructor for the Angels organization. He
returned to the Yankees organization in 1989, beginning the season
as the club’s roving minor league hitting instructor before being
promoted to manager at Triple-A Columbus for the final 16 games of
the season when Buck Dent was named manager of the Yankees. In 1990,
his Double-A Albany club was at a 24-21 mark when he was promoted
to manage Columbus in June after Stump Merrill was named Yankees manager.
From 1990-92, he guided Columbus to 3 consecutive International League
Western Division Titles and 2 Straight Governor’s Cup Crowns. His
Clippers set a franchise record with 95 wins in 1992. Down’s Columbus
team was in first place in 385 of 391 games while he was manager.