From being part of a team that lost 111 games to winning a World Series, Arizona Diamondbacks’ coach Glenn Sherlock ’83 has seen it all.
Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale and bench coach Glenn Sherlock talk in the dugout. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart, courtesy of the Arizona Diamondbacks)
Glenn Sherlock ’83 was playing minor league baseball in the late 1980s when the New York Yankees sent him from Triple-A Columbus down to Double-A Albany-Colonie, a farm team in upstate New York.
He drove with his wife, Lisa, and young son, Tim, and daughter, Cara, from Ohio to the ballpark in New York. And when they arrived in Albany the team bus was in the parking lot and getting ready to leave.
And Sherlock needed to be on it.
“I got out of the car and the bus was there and ready to go on a road trip,” recalls Sherlock, who was a minor league catcher. “That is hard—Lisa had no place to stay and she had two kids” to handle.
Sherlock eventually made the transition from minor league player to coach and has now been in professional baseball for 32 years. He is currently the bench coach in the major leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks, an organization he has worked for in a variety of roles since 1996.
Even though he made it to the majors as a coach there are many times he is away from home.
“It is tough on your family. You are away a lot,” Sherlock says, standing in the Arizona clubhouse during a road trip to Washington to face the Nationals in early August.
Sherlock began playing organized baseball at around age 8 near Boston and played three sports in high school, which was customary in the 1970s.
Sherlock was a standout catcher at Rollins for the Tars and the legendary baseball coach Boyd Coffie, who also played in the minors for the Yankees and passed away in 2006.
“I came from a coastal town in Massachusetts and I was used to the ocean,” says the former Rollins environmental studies major. “It was pretty interesting stuff for me. Rollins was a great place for me to grow up. When I was looking at colleges and talked to coach Coffie I felt I would learn the most from him.”
“Work ethic is something I learned from him,” Sherlock adds. “He was an extremely hard worker. He was probably the most influential person for me at Rollins. He taught us to play the game the right away.”
A native of Nahant, Massachusetts, Sherlock was drafted in the 21st round by the Houston Astros in 1983 out of Rollins and played in their minor league system through 1986.
Sherlock smiles in the dugout prior to the game against the Padres. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart, courtesy of the Arizona Diamondbacks)
Sherlock then played in the minors with the Yankees from 1986 to 1989 and it was during that time he had a memorable conversation with Triple-A manager Bucky Dent, a World Series hero with the New York Yankees in the 1970s who went to high school and college in the Miami area.
“I was in the Yankees system for a few years. I was a backup catcher and I always seemed to be backing up a (top) prospect,” Sherlock recalls. “People will keep you around for a certain reason, maybe the knowledge of what you can provide.”
“I was playing for Bucky in Triple-A and he said, ‘You are not going to play in the major leagues but you might coach there one day.’ I always remember that,” Sherlock recalls.
So in 1989 Sherlock became a player/coach for Albany-Colonie in the Yankees system and was a manager in the Instructional League for New York later that year.
The next season he was a manager in the Gulf Coast League with the Yankees and he later became a valued catching instructor in the minor league system. He remained with New York through 1995 and then joined the expansion Diamondbacks, who beat the Yankees in the 2001 World Series.
Sherlock has been a bench coach, bullpen and catching coach, and first and third base coach during his long tenure with the Diamondbacks. He also operates a catchers camp near his home in Arizona during the offseason, and in 2013 took part in the Ironman Arizona.
He and his wife, who grew up around Winter Park, have lived for several years in Arizona. While many minor and major league coaches aspire to be big league managers, Sherlock feels comfortable in his current position.
“It is just something I have always loved to do,” he says. “There is not anything else I want to do more than this. It is something that I enjoy doing, and working with the players.”
“I have been fortunate to be in this game for a long time,” he adds. “I have been around some great players. It is important to be able to help the players and contribute to a winning environment.”
Diamondbacks infielder Paul Goldschmidt is congratulated by third base coach Glenn Sherlock after hitting a two run home run against the Braves in the seventh inning. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart, courtesy of the Arizona Diamondbacks)