GRAND PRAIRIE, Tx. – The Texas AirHogs are proud to announce that former Major League player and coach Chris Bando will serve as the team’s manager for the 2019 season.
“I am very excited for the opportunity that the AirHogs organization has given me and will take great pride in leading this team to their greatest potential,” said Bando.
Bando spent a majority of his MLB career with the Cleveland Indians (1981-1988) and then a short stint for the Detroit Tigers (1988) and the Oakland Athletics (1989).
The Ohio native was a second round pick for the Cleveland Indians in the 1978 MLB June Amateur draft out of Arizona State University. After winning a National Championship in college, his professional baseball career began that year with the Indians AA affiliate– the Chattanooga Lookouts.
In 1981, he spent time with their Triple-A team, the Charleston Charlies batting .306, 11 home runs and driving in 45 runners over 96 games. That fall, the catcher made it to the big show, playing 21 games for Cleveland and served as the team’s starting catcher eight times. Bando’s best season of his career came in 1984. where he hit .291 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs. After a nine year MLB career, he transitioned into player development, managing and coaching.
Chris brings over 30 years of professional baseball experience, having spent 10 years as a Minor League manager for the Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians organizations. He earned Best Minor League Managing Prospect by Baseball America in 1994 and in 1995 was voted the #2 Manager Prospect by Major League General Managers. At the Major League level, Bando spent three years as the third base coach and bench coach for the Brewers. He also served as a Major League pro scout for the Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks.
“Chris will make a great addition as the leader of our on-field staff and we are excited to introduce him to our fans,” said President and GM JT Onyett. “His experience in baseball is high caliber and we are confident in his abilities to elevate our team this season.”