By: Matt Rothman
Former MLB star Juan Pierre has been officially named the new head coach of the Parkland Pokers 10U baseball team.
A former World Series champion with the Florida Marlins, Pierre coaches the Parkland Poker 10U baseball team and assists the 8U team as an assistant coach.
âI’m past my playing days so I’m about to give back to this game with the kids,â Pierre said. “I would rather be an assistant and be in the background, but the opportunity presented itself and I accepted.”
Pierre played professionally for 14 seasons and moved to Parkland in 2004 while playing with the Chicago Cubs. He is a .295 lifelong hitter and has finished under 800 to 3,000 hits in his career.
After his retirement, Pierre decided to become a coach. While he prefers to stay out of the spotlight, watching his kids play is the most difficult thing he’s ever done.
âI know I have no control when my kids play, but I’m more nervous watching them play than I was in Game 6 of the World Series,â added Pierre.
He also mentioned that while none of his players were born in his prime, he wants to see his team put the ball into play and be aggressive like they were during their big league career.
Pierre will teach children the basics of the game. While winning is always fun, he wants to make sure these players improve as they progress through high school and beyond.
âI think Juan Pierre checks all of those boxes and a few more as well,â said Greg Raley, director of baseball operations. âAnytime you can bring someone with their knowledge and experience to the highest level of our game and combine that with the quality person that they are with their family is a victory for everyone involved.â
Pierre’s team will be holding trials on December 7 and 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Pine Trails Park. They will also take place on December 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
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Matt Rothman graduated in 2018 from Florida Gulf Coast University and received his BA in Journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student.