Johnnies legend leaves for the Mets - Queens Chronicle: Central/Mid Queens News

Johnnies legend leaves for the Mets

by David Russell, Associate Editor | Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2020 10:30 am

After 24 seasons as the head baseball coach at St. John’s University, Ed Blankmeyer announced his resignation on Monday to join the Mets organization as manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones, a Single-A team.

The coach, who had 23 winning seasons and amassed 829 victories, said it was an “honor and a privilege to call St. John’s home,” also crediting predecessors Jack Kaiser and Joe Russo.

“There are plenty of memories from more than 1,300 games wearing this uniform, but most of all I will cherish the relationships that I’ve been able to cultivate with my players and coaches, each and every one of whom has made coming to the ballpark each day a pleasure,” he said in the story on Red

Blankmeyer led the Johnnies to five Big East tournament titles and six conference regular season championships. He leaves St. John’s as the winningest coach in Big East history with 347 league victories. He was named Big East Coach of the Year a record eight times, including seven of the last 15 seasons.

“Let’s be very clear, Ed Blankmeyer is an absolute and unquestioned legend in the history of St. John’s, the Big East and college baseball,” said Mike Cragg, the St. John’s athletic director.

The Red Storm reached the 40-win plateau nine times under Blankmeyer and made the NCAA Tournament 11 times. In 2018, he was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

He was only the third coach the school has had since 1956, following Kaiser and Russo. Blankmeyer took the job just before the start of the 1996 season. Prior to that, he was on the staff at Seton Hall, his alma mater.

Blankmeyer’s son, Ty, played at St. John’s from 2013 through 2016 before being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds.

In September, the Cyclones won its first New York-Penn League title since 2001 but the organization chose not to retain manager Edgardo Alfonzo, a fan favorite from his playing days with the Mets.

Blankmeyer is no stranger to professional-caliber baseball. He briefly played with the Pulaski Phillies in 1976 and saw 91 of his Johnnies join Major League organizations through the draft or free agency.

The 2019 season saw several Johnnies in the majors. Veteran second baseman Joe Panik joined the Mets late in the season after being let go by the Giants. Frank Schwindel made his debut in March and played a few games at first base for the Royals. Pitcher Cody Stashak made his debut for the Twins and pitched against the Yankees in the playoffs.