NORFOLK, Va. - Buck Britton is no stranger to Norfolk and Harbor Park. 2022 just sees him in a different seat.
Britton takes the reins of the Tides this year as the club's manager, hoping to continue a successful transition from player to coach in the Orioles' organization. He spent parts of four seasons in Norfolk as an infielder before retiring following the 2016 season.
"I enjoyed my time when I was here, but it's nice to be back and to be back at this level with some of these guys in 2019 and kind of meshing with that group form 2020, I'm excited to get going," Britton said.
The first year AAA manager has a good history in his young coaching career. Britton was the Eastern League Manager of the Year with AA Bowie in 2019, a team that saw several of his current players on the roster.
"He was phenomenal, we won a lot of games, he was fun to play for," recalled pitcher Grayson Rodriguez. "He's kind of a player manager, really just leads a good group, likes to have fun in the clubhouse and we perform on the field."
The stage is set for success at Harbor Park this year. The Orioles have a minor league system that ranks number one in baseball, with a handful of players on the current Tides' roster expected to get to Baltimore at some point in 2022.
"We have a really good group here, a lot of high-profile guys," noted Britton.
Britton made his first appearance in Norfolk in September of 2010 and would have stints with the Tides from 2012-2014 as well. He never made the Major Leagues during his eight year playing career, but has channeled his energy into molding the next generation of Orioles' talent.
The Tides open their 2022 season on Tuesday against Charlotte. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.