ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays today named Ozzie Timmons as first base coach for Manager Kevin Cash's major league coaching staff.
"I'm excited for Ozzie to join our staff," said Cash. "He has a track record of connecting with hitters and providing high quality coaching throughout his career. We're looking forward to him complementing our staff with those skills and many others. His primary duties will be coaching first base, providing baserunning instruction and assisting our hitters alongside [hitting coach] Chad Mottola."
Timmons, 47, begins his first major league coaching assignment and his 12th season as a coach, spent entirely in the Rays organization. For the past two seasons (2016-17), he was the hitting coach for the Triple-A Durham Bulls. Prior to that, he coached seven seasons for the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (2009-15), one season with the Class-A Columbus Catfish (2008) and one season with the Short-A Hudson Valley Renegades (2008).
A Tampa native who still calls the city home, Timmons graduated from Brandon High School in 1988 and attended the University of Tampa, where he was a two-time Division II All-American. The outfielder was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of the 1991 June Draft and played professionally for 16 seasons, including parts of five seasons in the majors with the Cubs (1995-96), Cincinnati Reds (1997), Seattle Mariners (1999) and Devil Rays (2000). Playing for Durham in 2000, he led the International League with 104 RBI and 100 runs scored and earned a September call-up with Tampa Bay, batting .341 (14-for-41) with four home runs and 13 RBI. He later played in the Japanese Central League, Mexican League and independent Atlantic League.
Timmons becomes the seventh first base coach in franchise history, following Billy Hatcher (1998-99, 2003-05), Jos Cardenal (2000-01), Lee May (2001-02), George Hendrick (2006-14), Dave Martinez (who filled in for Hendrick for three weeks in 2007 while he recovered from knee surgery) and Rocco Baldelli (2015-17). Baldelli will remain on the major league coaching staff and will take on new responsibilities.
In Timmons, Baldelli and Cash, the coaching staff now features three members who once played in the majors for the Rays. Prior to this, only two others both played and coached for the Rays at the major league level: Martinez and Wade Boggs.