By Brian Eller -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- John Lowery has more than 40 years of experience coaching baseball. Whether serving as a coach in high school or as an assistant in the Valley League, he has spent four decades ensconced in the sport he loves to teach.
And now, as the new Winchester Royals manager, Lowery will get a chance to continue his coaching practices, which, according to him, all stem from a few basic fundamentals of the game.
"There's certain absolutes in baseball," Lowery said. "Teaching aggressiveness in players, intelligence, risk versus gamble, it's all for getting a feel for what's happening at that point. There's no magic wand to the game. I think if you can make the routine plays and try to eliminate your mistakes, you'll always put yourself in a position to win."
While Lowery will take over as the new manager for Winchester, he is certainly no stranger to the Royals' organization. Prior to taking the job as manager, Lowery spent time as an assistant coach with the Royals, most recently under the direction of his son, former Manager John Lowery Jr.
It's a transition the senior Lowery said he's excited for, but understands it doesn't come without some challenging tasks, most notably putting together a team. It will be up to him to view, evaluate and select the players for the upcoming season, then spend the summer helping them enhance their skills game by game. To Lowery, however, those new challenges are all part of the new job title.
"I think the transition and challenge go together," Lowery said. "Securing the players, putting the team together. In terms of approach to the game, keeping the guys on the same page and trying to provide the same atmosphere so they can all have a good experience. Hopefully they can all progress so when they go back to college they can all say they had a good experience with the Winchester Royals."
Despite being grateful for the offer as manager, Lowery admitted he was a little surprised the opportunity came along. Earlier this month, his son stepped down as manager of the Royals in order to spend more time with his wife and children. That sparked what general manager Brian Burke called an "extensive search" to replace the younger Lowery, with a number of worthy candidates interested in the position.
Burke said a three-man committee was formed to select the next manager, and with a recommendation by John Lowery Jr., decided to extend the offer to his father.
"John Sr. was at the top of the candidates when John Jr. resigned," Burke said. "It was a time-consuming process, for sure. But the organization is pleased and excited at what John Sr. brings to the position."
The senior Lowery is known as a quiet man, who, in the words of Burke, shares his knowledge of the game of baseball through his interest in reading sports books, often referring to his current read as the source of his bits of wisdom. Now he'll get to share his pieces of wisdom with a new group of young athletes, most of whom spend the summer with the Royals enhancing their skills for their upcoming college baseball season.
But no matter who is donning a Royals uniform, Lowery said he hopes his new role as manager will have an impact on his players, and that despite it being his first stint as the Royals' manager, the more than 40 years of teaching baseball will help make the transition a smooth one.
"These guys will all come in from solid collegiate programs," Lowery said. "They're motivated to play over the summer, and to enhance their games beyond the collegiate level. I think with all that in mind it'll be fun to lead a group like that."