Former major league player and veteran minor league manager Tom Lawless is the new manager of the Lexington Legends. The announcement was made today (Dec. 3) by the Legends’ parent club, the Houston Astros.
Lawless, 51, has managed in the minors in the Anaheim, St. Louis, San Diego and Baltimore organizations. He has been with the Orioles organization for the last five seasons, including the last three as minor league roving infield/baserunning instructor. He spent the 2002 season working for the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, serving as on-field operations assistant.
Lawless was a coach for the Chinese national baseball team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His international experience also includes coaching in the Australian winter leagues in 1994-95.
Lawless played at the major league level for eight seasons. He reached the majors with Cincinnati in 1982. On August 16, 1984, the Reds traded Lawless to the Montreal Expos for Pete Rose, who returned to the Reds as a player-manager and went on to set baseball’s all-time record for career hits the following season.
Lawless was traded to St. Louis in the spring of 1985 and appeared in two World Series with the Cardinals. In game four of the 1987 Series, he delivered a three-run homer off Minnesota lefthander Frank Viola, helping the Cardinals to a 7-2 win. It was one of three home runs Lawless hit in his major league career.
The Astros also announced that Charley Taylor will return to the Legends for his ninth season as pitching coach with the team and his 28th year overall in the Houston system. Pete Rancont begins his first season as hitting coach for Lexington after managing Tri-City for two seasons. Rancont has been a coach since 2001, including three seasons as coach for Rookie League Greeneville. John Patton enters his sixth season in the Astros organization and his second as athletic trainer at Lexington.
“Charley has become a summer staple in the Central Kentucky community. It’s great to have him back again,” said Legends General Manager Andy Shea. “The addition of Tom and Pete to the staff brings us new blood and is very exciting,” said Legends General Manager Andy Shea.
Lexington is a member of the South Atlantic League and a Class A affiliate of the Houston Astros.