10/05/2017 11:25 AM
Cory Haggerty, a Mohawk Valley native and former White Sox farmhand, will lead the 'Dawgs in 2018.
LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. – The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs, the 2017 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) champs, have found their successor to two-time championship-winning coach Blake Nation. On Friday, September 29, team owner Travis Heiser announced that Mohawk Valley native and former Chicago White Sox draftee Cory Haggerty has been named the next head coach of the DiamondDawgs.
Haggerty, a 2011 Mohawk Valley Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, graduated from Ilion High School in 1999 and, following four standout years at SUNY Cortland, was drafted in the 18th round of the 2003 MLB Draft by the White Sox.
A two-time State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) All-Conference honoree, Haggerty excelled for the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons, where he finished with a .335 career batting average. His 176 hits, 147 runs scored and 15 home runs in 163 games played all ranked among the program’s all-time top 10 upon graduation in 2003. As a junior, he set a single-season record with 144 assists, a mark that still ranks third all-time in Cortland history. Haggerty helped the Red Dragons win four consecutive SUNYAC titles, qualify for the NCAA Division III playoffs four times and advance to the Division III World Series in both 2000 and 2001.
Following his standout collegiate career, the second baseman spent four seasons as a farmhand for the White Sox, reaching as high as Double-A.
As a coach, Haggerty brings more than 10 years of baseball experience to Veteran’s Memorial Park. Most recently he spent the 2017 season as an assistant coach at Division III Hamilton College. At the conclusion of the spring season, two of his players went on to sign pro contracts with independent clubs.
In 2016 he served as an assistant coach at Division II Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. During that season former Utica Blue Sox catcher Mitch Calandra was named the Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year, the first-ever Triton to claim the honor, while Eckerd’s Nick Hill was selected in the 27th round of the MLB Draft by San Francisco.
The former Cortland Red Dragon also spent four seasons as an assistant at his alma mater from 2010 to 2013.
“As an organization, we are very pleased that we can bring Coach Haggerty on board as our next head coach,” said Travis Heiser, owner of the DiamondDawgs. “He has experienced the dream that each of our DiamondDawg players are after – getting drafted by a Major League Baseball team – and will relate and interact well with our players and our loyal and knowledgeable baseball fans here in Little Falls. Coach Haggerty’s resume speaks for itself, we are bringing a Hall of Famer back home.”
“I am very much looking forward to being a part of this team and getting the season started,” Haggerty said. “It is an honor to be a part of this community, as it has and always will be home. What better way to give back to this community than by coaching and giving them an experience they can bring the family out to and enjoy.”
Haggerty replaces Nation, a two-time PGCBL Championship head coach and a former PGCBL Coach of the Year. Nation won a total of 114 regular-season games at the helm of the ‘Dawgs, and under his tutelage, the team advanced to the postseason in all four seasons. The former Seattle Mariners pitching prospect won titles in 2015 and 2017, and mentored the 2016 PGCBL Co-Pitcher of the Year, Joe DeSarro (Herkimer/SNHU).
“We have been very lucky to have a championship-caliber coaching staff here in the Mohawk Valley with Coach Nation and [assistant coach] Steve Luby,” Heiser said. “We are grateful for what they both have accomplished here in Little Falls by raising two PGCBL championship banners. As both coaches move up the ranks we wish them well, as they will forever be a part of the DiamondDawg family.
“That being said, we are confident as an organization that we are in good hands with Coach Haggerty and expect to continue that winning tradition.”