Betcha can't read just one!

Jose Herrera hired by Nationals as minor league coach

(Hat tip to CBS 21 Sports Director Jason Bristol for first bringing this to our attention.)

Former Revolution outfielder/designated hitter Jose Herrera is the latest alum to pop up in a blitz of December, post-winter meeting moves.  Although Herrera retired as a Rev following the 2011 season, he is remaining in the game.

Herrera’s first stop in coaching will be as hitting instructor for the Washington Nationals entry in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League.  If you’re unfamiliar, it’s basically the same age-range and level of play as the Appalachian or Gulf Coast Leagues, but for Spanish-speaking players between the ages of 17 and 20 who have recently signed their first pro contract.  Like the other rookie leagues, they play between a 65 and 70 game season beginning in June.

Herrera, 41, began his 20-year playing career as an 18-year-old in the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 1991.  He appeared in 141 Major League games with the Oakland A’s in 1995 and 1996, batting a respectable .264 with six home runs and 32 RBI in those games, but would not appear in the big leagues again.

At age 37 in 2010, Herrera actually batted a career high (for any level) of .337 in 115 games for York, his 10 homers and 87 RBI helping lead the Revolution to their first Atlantic League Championship.  He logged 86 more games for the Revs during the 2011 playoff season, still hitting a solid .283 with nine homers and 59 RBI before hanging it up.

Ron Gardner – Remembering 2011:  Herrera re-discovers his sweet swing with Revs

And yes, as Jason Bristol reminded us a few years ago, Herrera defeated woeful race horse Zippy Chippy in a sprint through the outfield of Rochester’s Frontier Field during the 2000 season.  At the time Herrera was a 27-year-old outfielder in the Baltimore Orioles organization playing for the Rochester Red Wings in Triple-A. (Watch the video above.)

Zippy Chippy

Jose Herrera is known for always having a smile on his face. Here he is, jubilant as usual, after defeating Zippy Chippy in a race on the field in Rochester in 2000.

– Paul Braverman


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