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11/01/2007 12:15 PM ET
Giants name former A.L. batting champion Carney Lansford hitting instructor
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Looking outside the organization, the San Francisco Giants have named former All-Star and 1981 American League batting champion Carney Lansford as the team's hitting instructor, club Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean announced today. Lansford signed a two-year contract that will carry through the 2009 season.

Lansford, a lifetime .290 hitter over 15 Major League seasons from 1978-1992, will become a hitting instructor at the big league level for the first time. After an eight-year absence from the coaching ranks, the 50-year-old made a successful return to professional baseball in 2007 as the hitting coach for triple-A Colorado Springs in the Rockies' organization. His Sky Sox charges ranked third in the Pacific Coast League with a .292 batting average, fifth with a .353 on-base percentage and fourth with a .452 slugging mark.

"We are thrilled to have someone of Carney's baseball pedigree join the coaching staff," Sabean said. "He was an excellent big league hitter in his own right, while his expertise, enthusiasm and approach will be tremendous assets to our club moving forward."

The 2008 campaign will be Lansford's fifth as a Major League coach, having logged four years as manager Tony LaRussa's bench coach in both Oakland (1994-95) and St. Louis (1997-98). The former third baseman was also a part-time instructor with the Cardinals in 1996.

"I am greatly looking forward to the honor of becoming a member of the Giants family," Lansford said. "As a Bay Area native who was born in San Jose and raised in Santa Clara, I have been a life-long Giants fan. In fact, my all-time idol always has been, and always will be, Willie Mays."

Originally signed by the California Angels in 1975 after graduating from Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, CA, Lansford put together a fine big league career that saw him compile a .290 batting average with 2,074 hits, 332 doubles, 40 triples, 151 home runs, 874 RBI and 224 stolen bases in 1,862 games with the Angels (1978-80), Boston Red Sox (1981-82) and Oakland Athletics (1983-92). He hit over .300 five times, while compiling at least as many walks as strikeouts in five different campaigns.

Lansford made an immediate impact at the Major League level, finishing third in the 1978 American League Rookie of the Year balloting after batting .294 as a 21-year-old with the Angels. Traded to Boston prior to the 1981 season, he became the first right-handed batter in 11 years to win the American League batting title with a .336 mark that season. After one more year with Red Sox, he was dealt to Oakland and anchored third base for the A's over the next 10 campaigns.

An American League All-Star in 1988, Lansford also excelled on the October stage. In 33 career post season games spanning five trips to the ALCS (1979, 1988-90, 1992) and a trio of World Series appearances (1988-90), he logged a .305 batting average (39-for-128) with 18 RBI.

Lansford and his wife, Debbie, have seen both of their sons matriculate to professional baseball, as Josh is a third baseman in the Chicago Cubs' system and Jared is a right-handed pitcher in the Oakland organization.
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