The Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer Baseball League are getting a managerial shot in the arm, as today the organization announced its 2022 field skipper, Jim Riggleman, who has, over the course of his distinguished career in baseball, managed five MLB clubs.
Riggleman becomes the first Mustangs manager to have previously served as a major league manager. He replaces 2021 manager Joe Kruzel, who left to work in the Los Angeles Angels’ minor-league system as a field coordinator.
Riggleman, 69, has been a manager, coach, or instructor at the professional level for more than 40 years, including all or parts of 17 seasons as a manager for the Cincinnati Reds (2015-2018), Washington Nationals (2009-2011), Seattle Mariners (2008), Chicago Cubs (1995-1999), and San Diego Padres (1992-94).
He has also worked on Major League staffs as the third base coach for the Indians (2000), first base coach for the Cardinals (1989-90) and bench coach for the Nationals (2009), Mariners (2008) and Dodgers (2001-04). He also managed the Reds’ Class AAA team in Louisville (2013-2014).
“I am so excited to be named the manager of the Billings Mustangs,” Riggleman said in a press release. “Baseball people across the country rave about Billings – the ballpark, the fans, the city, and the team. The history of great players who have come through Billings is really special. I look forward to the upcoming season and seeing this great fan base. Go
Billings team and PBL officials agree that having Riggleman is a huge plus for the franchise as well as league.
“We could not be any more thrilled to have Jim Riggleman come to Billings to manage the Mustangs,” team owner Dave Heller said. “He’s a teacher, a strategist, and a man of great integrity who brings with him an encyclopedic knowledge of the game. I know that under Jim’s leadership our players will play the game the right way, with pride and passion. It’s a tremendous honor to have him in Billings and a testimony to our team, the city of Billings, and the Pioneer League that a man of his stature would choose to manage here. We’re so excited to have him leading the Mustangs.”
Pioneer League president Mike Shapiro concurs.
“On behalf of the Pioneer League, I’m thrilled to have such a quality baseball man as Jim Riggleman managing our Billings club,” Shapiro said. “Beyond his sterling managing and coaching career, Jim is known throughout baseball as one of the real good, stand-up guys. He is universally liked and respected. It’s an honor to have someone of his pedigree manage in our league.”
The Mustangs kick off their second season as an MLB “Partner League” club on Wednesday, May 25th, in Missoula against the Paddleheads.
— Jerry Del Priore