Kerry Ligtenberg New Saints Pitching Coach
April 30, 2012 at 3:47 PM
ST. PAUL, MN (April 25, 2012) – It’s not very often the St. Paul Saints have an opening on their coaching staff, but when they do there are plenty of qualified candidates interested in the position. With pitching coach Jason Verdugo taking the Athletic Director’s position at Hamline University the Saints turned to former Major Leaguer and Saints reliever Kerry Ligtenberg to take over the reins.
The 40-year-old Ligtenberg last pitched professionally for the Saints in 2009 when he went 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 15 saves in 30 games before retiring on August 5. In 36.0 innings pitched he walked just six and struck out 29.
Ligtenberg attended the University of Minnesota and began his professional career with the Minneapolis Loons of the independent North Central League in 1994 and 1995. After two impressive seasons as a starter, his manager, and former Atlanta Braves catcher Greg Olson, recommended the Braves purchase his contract.
He began his tenure with the Braves organization in 1996 and it took him just one season to reach the Major Leagues in 1997. Ligtenberg capitalized on a huge opportunity in 1998 when he took over the closing duties from Mark Wohlers. Ligtenberg converted 30 of 34 save opportunities and finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting as he helped the Braves to the best record in the National League at 105-56.
After missing the entire 1999 season with a torn ligament in his elbow, Ligtenberg was tremendous for the Braves from 2000-2002. He went 8-10 with a 3.17 ERA and 13 saves during that span.
After six seasons with the Braves Ligtenberg signed a one year deal with the Baltimore Orioles in 2003 and went 4-2 with a 3.34 ERA. He spent the last two seasons in the Major Leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays (2004) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2005).
After spending the entire 2006 season in Triple-A Iowa with the Chicago Cubs organization he was invited to spring training with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, but was released after just 5.1 innings pitched. He retired until making one last comeback with the Saints in 2009.
The former Park High School graduate has stayed busy since then taking over as head coach of his former high school in 2011.
The Saints open their 2012 season at home on Thursday, May 17 with a 7:05 p.m. game against the Gary SouthShore Railcats. Saints tickets continue to be a tremendous value. Tickets are $5 for general admission, $8 for outfield reserved and $12 for infield reserved. Friday Home Games with Post-Game Fireworks (except July 1, August 26) are an additional $2 per ticket. Saints Special Event Home Games with Post-Game Fireworks (July 1, August 26) are an additional $3 per ticket. Tickets purchased on the Day of the Game are an additional $1 per ticket. Children under the age of 12 and seniors 65 and older receive $1 off the admission price. Children under 2 that don't require a seat are free.
Saints Box Office Hours on non-gamedays are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. On gamedays, the Box Office will open at 9 a.m. Sunday through Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday and will remain open until 15 minutes following each game.