Gary Allenson, a former major league catcher who is a veteran of 19 seasons as a minor league manager, was named Monday as the new field boss of the Buffalo Bisons.
Also, two other veteran operatives, former major leagues Randy St. Claire and Richie Hebner, were named to the Herd coaching staff.
Allenson, 58, is in his second season in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. He directed the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the Double-A Eastern League to a 68-72 record and a third-place finish in 2013 with Hebner as his hitting coach.
The new manager, the 19th in the Bisons’ modern era, succeeds Marty Brown, who resigned from the Blue Jays organization to seek other opportunities, apparently after he was passed over for a position on Toronto’s major league staff. He guided the Herd to a 74-70 record in his second sting with the Herd, Buffalo’s first winning season since 2010.
Toronto is the eighth major league organization Allenson has managed for. He began his career in 1987 when he led the Oneonta Yankees to the New York-Penn League championship. He subsequently managed for Boston, Texas, Houston, Milwaukee, Baltimore and Florida before joining the Jays in 2013. Twice he managed teams to the International League playoffs -- the Louisville Redbirds in 1998 and the Ottawa Lynx in 2003. He had a 284-341 record as manager of the Tidewater Tides from 2007-2011.
Allenson was drafted by the Red Sox in 1976 and spent six seasons as a backup catcher for Boston before finished his playing career with Toronto in 1985. Overall, Allenson batted .221 with 19 home runs and 131 RBIs in 416 career games in the big leagues.
St. Claire, 53, who pitched in 162 major leagues games with Montreal, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Atlanta and Toronto from 1984-1994, will be the Herd’s pitching coach. A native of Glens Falls and the of former major league catcher Ebba St. Claire, he was 12-6 with a 4.14 earned-run average and nine saves in 252 big-league innings. Last season he was pitching coach for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League and has 10 years of experience as a major league pitching coach.
Hebner, 66, posted a .276 career batting average with 1,694 hits in 18 big league seasons with the Pirates, Phillies, Mets tigers and Cubs. He was hitting coach at the major league level for Boston and Philadelphia and spent five seasons as a minor league manager.
Besides the coaching staff, the Bisons announced that athletic trainer Voon Chong and strength and conditioning coach Armando Gutierrez will return for their second seasons with the Bisons.
Allenson will be formally introduced to the media at 11 a.m. on Thursday before the Bisons’ annual Hot Stove Luncheon at noon in the Adam’s Mark Hotel .
In addition to the Bisons’ announcements, the Blue Jays also announced that their roving instructors (Dane Johnson - pitching, Mike Barnett - hitting, Mike Mordecai - fielding,outfield and baserunning, Sal Fasano - catching) will remain with the organization. This ended speculation that Raines was in line for a major league job as the Blue Jays’ extra coach.