After the 2016 Triple-A season was completed, Wally Backman resigned as the manager of the Las Vegas 51s with the hopes of moving to another organization to have a much better chance of at least working on a Major League coaching staff. Since that time he managed briefly in the Mexican Leagues, and last year, he was the manager of the New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League.
Backman will remain managing in the Atlantic League, but now he will be the manager for the Bud Harrelson co-owned Long Island Ducks. Backman is the sixth manager in franchise history, and he joins former Mets Harrelson, Gary Carter, and Kevin Baez to manage the Ducks.
Baez left the Ducks organization to manage in the Can-Am League. He leaves the Ducks as the winningest manager in team history. Given the big shoes the new manager left to fill, the Ducks chose a popular Met player and minor league manager to run the team.
In a Long Island Ducks press release, Backman said of his new opportunity, “I’m excited to join the Ducks knowing the professionalism of the organization and how much they care about winning. It’s an added bonus that this opportunity brings me back to New York and keeps me in the Atlantic League, where I have enjoyed managing.”
Backman began his career with the Mets, and he was a key member of the 1986 World Series Championship team, and he was also a part of the 1988 team which won the National League East division title. He became a manager in the Mets minor league system in 2009, which was a few years removed from his four day stint as the Arizona Diamondbacks manager.
During his time in the Mets organization, he led the Brooklyn Cyclones to the 2010 McNamara Division title. Under his leadership, Las Vegas won back-to-back division titles in 2013 and 2014. Overall, his teams had a winning record in four of the seven years he was a manager.