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Gyorko to manage Black Bears

Jedd Gyorko just can’t walk away from baseball.

After spending eight years in the Major Leagues, the Morgantown native is going to be the manager of the West Virginia Black Bears for 2021 in the team’s inaugural season in the MLB Draft League.

Gyorko will lead the Black Bears’ first-ever MLB Draft League team starting on Opening Day at Monongalia County Ballpark, Monday, May 24 against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. The rest of the Black Bears coaching staff and their initial Opening Day roster will be announced in the future.

“It’s only fitting to have someone who has meant so much to baseball in our region lead our hometown team in our first year in the MLB Draft League,” said Matt Drayer, General Manager of the Black Bears. “From his early days bringing state championships to University High, to his record-breaking performances at WVU to his great success at the game’s highest stage, Jedd played the game the right way and will be bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to lead our young squad of MLB-hopefuls.”

For Gyorko, 32, this season will be the first of his coaching career as he was a MLB player up to last year.

In MLB’s shortened 2020 campaign, the infielder hit nine home runs and 17 RBI in 42 games for the Milwaukee Brewers.

A former second-round pick of the Padres in 2010, Gyorko finished sixth in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2013 after hitting .249 with 23 homers and 63 RBI in 125 games with San Diego.

He played in parts of four seasons with the Cardinals from 2016-2019 and hit a career-best 30 home runs for St. Louis in 2016. Overall, he averaged .245 with 121 home runs and 370 RBI in 846 career big league games over eight seasons.

“I am hoping to provide our young players with experiences and give them knowledge on what the next level will look like and hopefully prepare them for successful careers,” Gyorko said. “I am thankful for the opportunity and look forward to gaining managerial experience, especially in my hometown, where I’ll be able to spend more time with my family.”

No stranger to sports fans in the region, Gyorko was a four-time All-Conference and three-time all-state honoree at University High School.

He helped lead the Hawks to the Class AAA final four as a freshman in 2004. He also played basketball at University High and was the program’s all-time leading scorer and 3-point shooter upon his graduation.

After his high school career, he spent three years with the hometown Mountaineers where he started all 168 games he played in and left the West Virginia program as its all-time leader in average (.404), extra-base hits (113) and home runs (T1st, 35).

He’s also second in WVU history in runs scored (207), RBI (178) and doubles (73) and third in total hits (281).

After garnering 10 All-American Honors, he became the seventh-highest drafted player from the Mountaineer program after being selected 59th overall by San Diego in 2010.

In 2020, Gyorko was inducted into the Mountaineers’ Sports Hall of Fame.

Even while playing professional baseball, Jedd and his wife Karley maintained a home in Morgantown. They have three children — twin sons Brody and Kadin, and daughter Brooklyn.

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