“Snit” spent seven seasons in the Southern League as a player and manager
PEARL – The Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs has announced the induction of five new members to the Southern League Hall of Fame. Of the five members being inducted is former Mississippi and Greenville manager and current Atlanta Braves skipper Brian Snitker.
Snitker managed the Greenville Braves for three years before moving with the team to Pearl in 2005. The inaugural Mississippi Braves club had some of the brightest prospects in the organization and promoted an unprecedented 11 players to Atlanta, including Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann. Snitker compiled a 260-283 (.479) record over four seasons as Atlanta’s Double-A manager, three in Greenville and one in Mississippi. As a player, Snitker spent three seasons with Double-A Savannah in the Southern League from 1978-1980. In 108 career minor league games, primarily as a catcher, “Snit” batted .254 with 23 home runs, 112 RBIs, and ten stolen bases.
“The Southern League has a long and proud baseball history and it’s an honor to be recognized as a member of the 2020 Hall-of-Fame class,” said Snitker. “It was a privilege to be able to manage so many talented young players in Greenville and Mississippi, that have gone on to have tremendous careers.”
Snitker is now the fourth representative of the Braves in the Southern League Hall-of-Fame, which began in 2014, joining Dale Murphy (Savannah, 2014), Chipper Jones (Greenville, 2015) and Tom Glavine (Greenville, 2017).
“Having spent over four decades with the Braves organization as a player and coach, “Snit” represents what the Braves are all about, on and off the field,” said Chip Moore, executive vice president of minor league affiliates and strategic planning. “The Southern League has a long and proud history and Brian is certainly deserving of this recognition.”
Since taking over as manager of the Braves in 2016, Snitker has compiled a 318-292 record (.521). In 2018, Snitker was named National League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA), becoming the first Atlanta Braves manager since Bobby Cox in 2005 to be named Manager of the Year. In 2019, Snitker, who has been part of the Braves’ organization for 43 years, led the Braves to their second consecutive National League East Division title, earning Sporting News NL Manager of the Year for a second consecutive season.
“As our first-ever manager, Snit will always hold a special place in Mississippi Braves history,” said Mississippi Braves vice president and general manager Pete Laven. “Our organization and fans have enjoyed watching his accomplishments through the years and today congratulate him on being inducted into the Southern League Hall of Fame.”
Snitker joined the organization in 1977 as a non-drafted free agent. He spent seven seasons as the major league club’s third-base coach from 2007 to 2013. He also had two stints with the major league staff as the bullpen coach in 1985 and from 1988 to 1990.
Snitker began the 2016 season as the manager at Triple-A Gwinnett before joining the Braves in Pittsburgh for his first game, a 12-9 loss, on May 17. He earned his first win the next day against the Pirates, and his first home win came on May 27 vs. Miami. The team went 59-65 (.476) over the final 124 games.
Serving 20 seasons as a minor-league manager, Snitker compiled an overall record of 1,301-1,309 (.498). He managed at Triple-A (Gwinnett, 2014-16; Richmond, 2006), Double-A (Mississippi, 2005; Greenville, 2002-04), High-A (Myrtle Beach, 1999-2001), Single-A (Macon, 1997-98, 1992; Durham, 1987 and 1983-84, Sumter, 1986, Anderson, 1982) and Rookie Level (Danville, 1996). Five of his minor-league clubs advanced to postseason play, and he won two league titles (consecutive championships with Myrtle Beach in 1999-2000) and two Manager of the Year Awards (Myrtle Beach in 1999-2000).
Snitker began his coaching career as a roving instructor for the Braves in 1981 and was originally hired by Hank Aaron. He served as a coach in the Atlanta farm system for three seasons, 1993 and 1994 (Danville) and 1995 (Durham). The former catcher played four seasons (1977-80) in the minors.
Born October 17, 1955, in Decatur, Illinois, Snitker graduated from Macon (Ill.) High School and played baseball at the University of New Orleans. Brian and his wife Veronica reside in Marietta, Ga, and have two children, Erin and Troy, and two grandchildren. Troy was drafted by Atlanta in
the 19th round of the 2011 draft and is now the assistant hitting coach with Houston.
Joining Snitker in the 2020 class is Asheville manager George Lee “Sparky” Anderson and Chattanooga Lookouts third baseman Edgar Martinez. Wade Vadakin, batboy, Mobile BayBears, was also elected to the Southern League Hall of Fame via the league’s annual Special Consideration Ballot. At the yearly Southern League Hall of Fame meeting in December, the committee members also endorsed President Lori Webb’s proposal to induct Frances Crockett Ringley, Charlotte O’s general manager and owner, into the league’s Hall of Fame.
The Southern League will recognize all of the inductees to this year’s Hall of Fame class prior to the 2020 All-Star Game in Jackson, TN.
The 2020 season begins on Thursday, April 9 when the M-Braves host the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. 2020 season tickets, group outings and sponsorship are on sale through the Mississippi Braves front office. For more information on membership packages, call 888-BRAVES4, or visit mississippibraves.com.