Jamie quirk // Photo courtesy of The Blue Rocks
You don’t have to be a huge baseball fan to be familiar with the name Jamie Quirk. A first-round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals in 1972, he is ranked No. 79 out of 100 on the list of the greatest Royals of all time. He has spent the past two years managing in the minors.
DT: What were you doing before being named manager for the Blue Rocks?
JQ: In 2014 I joined the Padres organization and managed San Diego’s Advanced-A affiliate, then split last year between Double-A and Triple-A.
DT: What role did you play in hiring the Blue Rocks coaching staff this season?
JQ: Zero. In the minor league, the manager does not play a role in that.
DT: You played 18 major league seasons. Can you talk about some of your fondest memories?
JQ: You tend to remember team successes. Those are the things I remember the most. I really remember them in order of succession. Playing in the major leagues and joining a team that was winning and going to the World Series are the things you remember.
DT: How would you describe your managing style? Are you a player’s manager?
JQ: I think I am. My roster dictates my managing style. I can be a disciplinarian or I can be happy-go-lucky. It really depends on the group of guys you have. I try to adapt to the team. They don’t have to adapt to me.
DT: Was coaching a natural transition after you retired from playing?
JQ: Yeah. I wanted to stay involved. I went right into coaching after my playing days were over. I played until I was almost 38, and as I was getting older, I was gradually thinking about coaching.
DT: You won a World Series with the Royals in 1985, during your third tour with them. What did it mean to you to win one with them?
JQ: It was huge. We had gone to the playoffs in 1976, 1977 and 1978. When I came back, we went to the playoffs, then the World Series and beat the St. Louis Cardinals. It was surreal. It was great because it was an organization I spent a great deal of time with.
DT: Is it your dream to eventually manage at the major league level?
JQ: I have had my share of interviews. I would like to get the opportunity. Sometimes I feel as if my window might be passing, but I still feel like I am a young man. It is a passion of mine. My feeling is, if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.
DT: Frawley Stadium was recently renovated. What excites you about playing there?
JQ: It’s a nice looking ballpark, and it looks like it’s in good playing service. The strong affiliation with the Royals also excites me.
DT: You haven’t spent much time in Delaware. Is there anywhere you are excited about visiting?
JQ: I know the beaches are fairly close, but we play every day. This is my 45th year in baseball, and I’m not a big sightseer. I will be able to tell you about every inch of Frawley Stadium, but I will not be able to tell you how to get downtown.
DT: If you met someone who had never been to a Blue Rocks game before, what would you say?
JQ: I would tell them about a couple of my players, that they might see them in the major leagues one day. Minor league baseball is different. It’s fun to watch, it’s great kid entertainment, and the fans are always close and can interact. It is enjoyable to watch the young players who are working their way up, and there is always a lot of fun stuff going on in between innings.
DT: What kind of advice would you give young athletes who want to make it big?
JQ: You must have passion because the game is hard. You have to be all in, which means eating right and sleeping right. You have to take it seriously. Success doesn’t just happen. Put the time in early and late. The preparation before and after will consume you.