NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Las Vegas 51s announced on Tuesday that manager Wally Backman will return for the 2014 season.
In Backman’s first season as manager, the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate finished 81-63 and won the Pacific Coast League’s Pacific Southern Division. Las Vegas was eliminated in the first-round of the playoffs by the Salt Lake Bees.
Backman interviewed for the position of Mets manager in 2011, losing out to Terry Collins. He returned to the organization in 2010 as manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones. Backman has maintained a desire to manage in the major leagues.
Backman made his debut for the Mets in 1980. He was a beloved member of the 1986 championship team. Backman’s aggressive style of play made him a fan favorite at Shea Stadium.
He was traded along with Mike Santiago to the Minnesota Twins for Steve Gasser, Jeff Bumgarner and Toby Niven. None of the players received by the Mets in the trade went on to appear in the major leagues.
Backman batted .275 in 14 seasons. He led the National League with 14 sacrifice hits in 1985.
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