Pulaski, Va. – An Arizona native has been tasked with developing the Pulaski River Turtles into the hottest team in the Appalachian League.
Major League Baseball veteran Clark Crist from Phoenix, AZ, has been named the manager of the Pulaski River Turtles. Crist most recently served as a National Junior College Cross Checker for the Arizona Diamondbacks, overseeing all junior college prospects nationwide for the club from 2015 to 2020.
“I am very excited to be a part of the inaugural season of the new Appalachian League,” says Crist. “It is an honor to be allowed to work with these young, talented college players and I am thankful to Major League Baseball and USA Baseball for giving me this opportunity. My goal is to provide these athletes an understanding of the game while enhancing their abilities. I am also looking forward to working with the Pulaski ownership and front office and meeting the wonderful, supportive fans of the River Turtles!”
A native of Tucson, AZ, Crist played collegiate baseball at the University of Arizona, where he was the starting shortstop for the 1980 team that authored 19 late-inning comebacks en route to the national championship.
Crist was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 14th round of the 1980 MLB June Amateur Draft and spent four seasons in Minor League Baseball, eventually serving as a player-coach for the Mariners Double A affiliate, the Chattanooga Lookouts, from 1982-1985.
Crist’s tenure in Major League Baseball includes scouting roles for the Houston Astros (1985-1992), Boston Red Sox (1992-1994), Cleveland Indians (1994-2995), New York Mets (1995-1997), St. Louis Cardinals (1997-2006) and the Cincinnati Reds (2006-2015). Crist oversaw the signing of many notable names during his career as a Major League Baseball scout, including All-Stars Kenny Lofton and Albert Pujols, Covelli “Coco” Crisp, Mike Leake, Tommy Pham, Chris Duncan and Amir Garrett.
Crist and his wife of more than forty years, Leslie, have two children and a grandchild. Crist’s son, Justin, played minor league baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Crist’s daughter, Randi, and her husband, Jack, have one son, George.
About the Pulaski River Turtles
Calfee Park opened in 1935 and was renovated for the organization’s first season under the ownership of the Shelor Motor Mile in 2015. The organization is celebrating its 55th season in the Appalachian League in 2021. Pulaski teams have a combined all-time record of 193-155 (189-148 regular season) in the Appalachian League, and boast five league championships: 1948, 1969, 1986, 1991 and 2013.