Meet Dusty Wathan: A Q&A with the New IronPigs Manager
It’s time for a new season of baseball—and this year, there’s a new manager in town.
To celebrate, the IronPigs are giving away four sets of family four-pack tickets. Visit the Lehigh Valley Marketplace Facebook and like and share the giveaway post pinned to the top for a chance to win. New giveaways will be posted four Mondays in a row: April 10, April 17, April 24, and May 1. Winners will be announced via Facebook at the end of each week.
What exactly do Minor League baseball managers do?
We talk to the media and represent the team, and we also do a lot of coaching. With the IronPigs, I’m mostly in charge of catchers and infielders. We organize and schedule things like team fundamentals and individual defense every day. In addition, we gather information so that we can deliver scouting reports on other teams. Then, of course, we actually manage the game—we decide who’s playing, who’s pitching, and who to bring in from the pen.
What’s special about baseball to you? Why not play another sport?
The game of baseball is like life, and you have to make a ton of adjustments in the middle of it. Sometimes it can seem a little slow—it’s not very fast with back-to-back action—but it’s a thinking man’s game. It’s a lot
Can you tell us about your baseball career?
Baseball has always been part of my life, basically since I was born. I originally signed with the Seattle Mariners in 1994, and played for 7 years. I played as a Major League catcher for the Kansas City Royals in 2002, and played for the Philadelphia Phillies until I retired in 2007. Now I’m in my tenth year of managing teams.
Who was your baseball idol growing up and why?
My father, John Wathan, who is a former catcher and manager for the Kansas City Royals. Other than that, probably George Brett, another Royals player. He was like an uncle to me, and it was absolutely amazing to watch him play.
What is your favorite position to play?
I was a catcher, so that’s probably my favorite position. You’re in every single play and you get to see the whole field. Being the catcher in baseball is the equivalent of being the quarterback in football.
Who is your favorite mascot?
Definitely the Phillie Phanatic! He’s just the greatest.
What is your most treasured baseball memory?
In 1985, my dad won the World Series. I got to go into the locker room after the game.
What are you looking forward to most this season with the IronPigs?
I’m looking forward to all of the young prospects we have and the opportunity to watch them grow.
Photo Credit: Miles Kennedy