The California League is usually a training ground, for not only players, but also for coaches and managers.
But for the latest 66ers manager, Tom Gamboa, he’s already had plenty of training. The Angels, the newest affiliate for the 66ers, announced Tuesday that Gamboa would manage the team in 2011. Gamboa has worked in baseball since 1974, when he was only 26. He spent 5 seasons (1998-99, 2001-03) as a big league coach. He last managed for the Angels’ Double-A Arkansas team in 2005.
Part of the attraction for Gamboa, 62, is that San Bernardino is less than an hour away from his home in Rancho Mirage, near Palm Springs. Gamboa plans on getting an apartment in the San Bernardino area, but will be able to spend off-days and maybe the evening after a day game back in his own bed.
Gamboa also has a great relationship with Angels farm director Abe Flores, with whom he has a long friendship.
Gamboa will be joined on the Sixers’ staff by hitting coach Damon Mashore and pitching coach Dan Ricabal, who had both been part of the Quakes staff the last few years.
Keith Johnson, the Quakes manager who led the team to within one game of a Cal League title, was promoted to Triple-A Salt Lake and will manage there. It’s perfect for Johnson, who calls Utah home in the off-season.