Former Bishop Hendricken standout athlete and Major League baseball player Rocco Baldelli was hired as the new manager of the Minnesota Twins last week. Baldelli is the franchise’s 14th manager, and at 37 years old, the youngest manager in the Major Leagues.
Baldelli spent eight seasons in the big leagues, seven with the Tampa Bay Rays and one with the Boston Red Sox. He has served as an assistant coach in the Tampa Bay club over the past four seasons.
The Rhode Island native is considered one of the best multi-sport athletes to ever come out of Hendricken and all of Rhode Island. Hendricken baseball coach Ed Holloway, who coached Baldelli for three seasons in the 1990’s, was excited to hear the news for his former player.
“It was awesome. I read a couple of times that he was being interviewed for different jobs. It’s awesome for him to get a chance to be a big-league manager,” said Holloway, who knew that Baldelli had the ability to reach the big leagues from the time he stepped foot on the diamond at Hendricken. “He was a great player, a great athlete. He was always a five-tool player, really a six-tool player because he had that special thing. He was a great all-around baseball player. He was a little thin in high school but was deceivingly strong. He was a great defensive player, great speed, a complete player. He was a good kid on top of it. We knew that he could be a big-league player with the potential that he had.”
Hendricken athletics have been well-represented at the collegiate and professional levels over the past few decades, with numerous former athletes making the jump to the next level in various sports. Baldelli’s hiring not only adds to his personal resume, but also adds another accomplishment for the Hawks program.
“We’ve had a great run of terrific athletes that have gone on to play at a high level. It is great for the school, it creates a lot of excitement for the school and the athletes here. It shows them that they could have an opportunity to chase their dreams. It’s great for everyone involved,” said Holloway.
After a down year where the Twins won just 78 games and missed the postseason, Minnesota was in search of a manager that would be able to reach its young, up and coming roster. Holloway feels that Baldelli has what it takes to be a successful coach, and will help guide the young players along the way.
“I think he’ll do well. Rocco is a hard worker, he has a great temperament for coaching. He’ll be patient, they have a pretty young team. It will be good for him that he can grow with that team through the years,” said Holloway. “He’ll do a great job, he’ll put the effort in. He’s smart and he’ll have a plan.”