The GreenJackets have existed as a farm team with different affiliations since 1980, playing in the cool Lake Olmstead Stadium since 1995 and, ten years later, joining the Giants. As a Giants affiliate, they’ve won two championships, the last in 2008 which was the same year they were voted the best overall Minor League Baseball team.
It isn’t rare for players to skip this division, but a few notable alumni are Pablo Sandoval, Madison Bumgarner, and Brian Wilson.
The curious team name comes from the golf tournament held in Augusta in which the winner receives a green jacket, unless Jaws chases them down and steals it. Whether or not GreenJackets also exist as something that can sting you is a question better suited for someone else.
Manager Nestor Rojas
Rojas is probably an unknown to you (as he was to me)—a catcher / farmhand for five years with the Giants, he never reached the majors. 2015 was his first year managing the GreenJackets, promoted from managing in the Arizona Rookie League in 2014. Previously, he served as a coach in Augusta.
He has spent his entire professional career with the Giants and in this article, Bobby Evans cites his strong leadership and developmental skills. Interestingly, Rojas is the first former GreenJacket to manage the team.
Hitting Coach Doug Clark
Drafted by the Giants in the 7th round, 1998, Clark eventually reached the majors in 2005, though accumulating just 11 MLB at-bats during his career. However, he had a surprisingly long professional career and only just retired in 2014. His 17 year journey took him to Mexico and Korea, playing for seemingly two million different teams, and racking up 255 professional home runs.
During his MLB time, he had one hit.
Clark first became a coach for the Arizona League Giants, with 2016 marking his first year as hitting coach for the Augusta GreenJackets.
Pitching Coach Jerry Cram
The 68 year old Jerry Cram is the most senior man of the GreenJackets triumvirate, having last pitched in the majors in 1976. Drafted by the Twins, Cram also played for the Royals and Mets during a 15 year professional career. He appeared in the Majors first in 1969, and then from 1974 to 1976, starting just two total games, throwing 48.1 innings, and unfortunately not recording a victory.
Before joining the Giants, Cram was a pitching coach in the minors, first for the Royals (1984 – 1997) and then the Rockies (1998 – 2000). Employed by the Giants ever since, Cram has worked as the pitching coach for the San Jose Giants, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, Richmond Flying Squirrels, and finally the Augusta GreenJackets. 2016 will be his second year on Augusta’s staff.
Augusta Green Jackets