Brooklyn Cyclones name St. John’s coaching legend as its new manager

Red Storm rising: STJ baseball drawing national attention
St. John’s Athletics

When the Brooklyn Cyclones take the field in June, they will do so under the direction of a Queens coaching legend.

After spending more than two decades coaching baseball at St. John’s, Ed Blankmeyer, the winningest coach in the history of the university, is heading to Brooklyn to manage the Cyclones, the Mets’ Class A minor league affiliate. Blankmeyer, 65, becomes the Cyclones’ 12th manager in the franchise’s 20 years.

“For the past 25 years, it has been an honor and a privilege to call St. John’s home,” said Blankmeyer. “To leave my mark on a program built on the accomplishments of legends like Jack Kaiser and Joe Russo has been the proudest achievement of my career in baseball.”

While coaching the Johnnies, Blankmeyer — a 2018 inductee of the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame — posted a record of 829-500-4 and earned 347 conference victories. The legendary coach guided St. John’s to five BIG EAST Tournament crowns and six regular season titles. He coached the Red Storm to nine 40-win seasons and saw 91 of his former players drafted or signed to professional contracts.

“Let’s be very clear, Ed Blankmeyer is an absolute and unquestioned legend in the history of St. John’s, the Big East, and college baseball,” said St. John’s Director of Athletics Mike Cragg.  “Legends are not replaced or forgotten, so today we recognize not only all of his amazing achievements on the diamond but the incredible legacy of players, staff, and coaches who have been touched by Coach Blankmeyer during his long tenure at St. John’s.”

Blankmeyer played on the diamond for Seton Hall, where he graduated in 1976. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 21st round and spent one year in their farm system before transitioning into coaching.

Blankmeyer replaces former Met Edgardo Alfonzo, whose contract expired at the end of the 2019 season.

Meanwhile, St. John’s announced that longtime assistant coach Mike Hampton will take over as the interim head coach for the 2020 season. Hampton has spent the last two decades under Blankmeyer.

“We are certainly excited about the future of our historic baseball program and the season ahead under the leadership of Mike Hampton and our experienced coaching staff,” said Cragg. “This has been a week of emotional surprises. Coach Blankmeyer, for whom we will always owe a debt of gratitude for his service here, had a tremendous staff in place and we are fortunate to have Mike, along with assistant coaches George Brown and Danny Bethea, ready to lead and carry the program forward in 2020.”