Former Cleveland Indians’ designated hitter Travis Hafner has become a member of the baseball coaching staff at Notre Dame College as a volunteer assistant coach. The school’s head coach is also a former Indian, pitcher Len Barker. The college is located in South Euclid, Ohio.
Hafner, who played for the Yankees last season, has been helping out with the team during the off-season and wants to continue doing so as his “schedule permits.” His responsibilities will center, of course, around offense Hafner told Cleveland.com’s Dennis Manoloff by phone on Wednesday,
“One of my passions is working with young hitters, and I look forward to doing so for Lenny and Notre Dame College.”
Hafner, 36, came into the majors with the Texas Rangers in 2002 but was traded that off-season to the Indians. He spent ten seasons with the Indians and last season with the New York Yankees. Currently still a free agent, Hafner intends to continue playing Major League Baseball.
He is a career .273 hitter with 213 home runs and 731 RBI. Last season, however, Hafner’s numbers were way down. He batted .202 with 12 home runs in 82 games with the Yankees. Still, Hafner insists he is ready for the 2014 season,
“I’m working out every day, getting ready for the upcoming season. The body and swing feel good.”
This year is the first year for the Notre Dame College Falcons in the Mountain East Conference and the college’s second year as an NCAA-II school. Their season opens on February 22 against King College in Bristol, Tennessee. The Falcons’ home games will be played at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio.
Both head coach Barker and the school’s Director of Athletics Scott Swain expressed their enthusiasm about having Hafner as part of their staff. Said Swain,
“We’re ecstatic to have someone as accomplished as Travis as a part of our department. His remarkable career with the Indians is well documented, and his presence, hard work, and dedication should help us a ton moving forward.”
Barker continued on saying,
“We’re very excited to have Travis on board. He’ll be a big part of what we’re trying to do here, and that’s win a conference championship.”
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