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Ricky VanAsselberg enters his third season as manager of the Grand Prairie AirHogs. Last season the AirHogs battled injuries and finished one game out of the playoffs with a 53-47 record. In his first season as manager for the AirHogs, VanAsselberg led Grand Prairie to the American Association Championship. While the title was the first for the franchise, VanAsselberg is no stranger to ultimate success.
A native of Gardner, LA, VanAsselberg attended Baptist Christian College in Shreveport, LA, where he won back-to-back national small-college titles in ’95 and ’96. He was also twice named a small-college All-American and was named the tournament MVP in 1996. He started playing professionally with the Alexandria Aces in ’96 and was signed to a rookie deal with the Baltimore Orioles in ’97.
After stints with the Ozark Mountain Ducks and the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings, VanAsselbeg took his first managerial job in 2006 with the team he started with, Alexandria, and won back-to-back United League Championships. He was also named Manager of the Year during both his title seasons.
VanAsselberg moved on to manage the Shreveport-Bossier Captains in ’09 and ’10, winning his first American Association Championship in the latter year. He moved to Grand Prairie in 2011, winning his second consecutive title with a different squad.
Grand Prairie, in the road to the 2011 title, had a league leading record of 64-36 to clinch the South Division. The AirHogs took down the Wichita Wingnuts in four games of a five-game series. The championship series with the Northern Division Champions, the St. Paul Saints, proved more difficult. St. Paul jumped out to a two-games-to-none lead, putting Grand Prairie one game away from elimination. The AirHogs fought off the Saints to win the next three games and clinch the title. This season is no different. VanAsselberg is looking to claim his fifth title in eight years as a manager.
Grand Prairie AirHogs Professional Baseball
1600 Lone Star Parkway
Grand Prairie, TX 75050