May 4, 1956 |
|Batted: Left||Threw: Right|
|August 22, 1977 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 4, 1992 for the California Angels|
|Runs batted in||446|
|Career highlights and awards|
Kenneth Raymond Oberkfell (born May 4, 1956, in Highland, Illinois) is an American former Major League Baseball third baseman and ex-coach for the New York Mets. Oberkfell served the manager of the Newark Bears of the independent Can-Am League during the 2012 season, before stepping down in August. He played from 1977-1992 for six different teams. Oberkfell primarily played third base but was also played over 400 career games at second base. He also served as the manager of the New Orleans Zephyrs from January 4, 2007 until June 17, 2008. He was named the New York Mets bench coach for the 2011 season, but was not hired back for 2012.
Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1975, Oberkfell would make his Major League Baseball debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on August 22, 1977, and appear in his final game on October 4, 1992. Oberkfell was a member of the 1982 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, hitting .292 in that series. During his stint with the pennant winning San Francisco Giants, the team held an Oberkfellfest in his honor at Candlestick Park.
After his retirement as a player in 1992, Oberkfell embarked on a successful managerial career that saw him named Minor League Manager of the Year by Baseball America in 2005.
During 2009 and 2010, Oberkfell managed the Mets' Triple-A farm team, the Buffalo Bisons. On January 28, 2010, Oberkfell led the Leones del Escogido to their 13th championship in the Dominican Baseball Winter League as their manager.
He was interviewed for the Mets managerial opening in November 2010. The Mets hired Terry Collins and named Oberkfell bench coach for the 2011 season. On October 5, 2011, Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson announced Oberkfell's dismissal as part of a larger coaching staff shakeup. He was later replaced by Bob Geren.
In recognition of his stellar 1989 play for the San Francisco Giants, hitting over .300 coming off the bench, a group of Giants fans gathered to celebrate Ken Oberkfell Day on August 17, 2014.
In 2013, Oberkfell became the manager of the Lincoln Saltdogs in Lincoln, NE.
Oberkfell was part of the "Bearded Braves" triumvirate along with Glenn Hubbard and Bruce Sutter. He told Neil Holfeld of the Houston Chronicle in a May 17, 1985 story that, "the beards make us stand out from the clean cut Dale Murphy types. Consider us a modern era House of David team."
- Wilson, Oberkfell among new Mets coaches
- Mets shake up coaching staff for 2012 season
- Buffalo Bisons press release
- Martino, Andy (November 12, 2010). "Ken Oberkfell interviewed by Mets GM Sandy Alderson for team's managerial opening". Daily News (New York).
- Cerrone,Matthew (October 14, 2011). "Mets hire Bob Geren to be the bench coach". MetsBlog.com. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)