· By Whitney Hunt
P.J. PHILLIPS TO MANAGE DIRTY BIRDS IN 2024
The Charleston Dirty Birds’ new leader for the 2024 season has managed two independent baseball teams to league championships and led his teams to post-season playoffs in five of his six full seasons as a manager. P.J. Phillips is no stranger to baseball fans in Charleston as he managed the Lexington Legends over the Dirty Birds toward winning the Atlantic League championship in 2021. In his first full season as a manager, he reformed the Vallejo Admirals and turned the team from worst in 2016 to first in 2017 to win the Pacific Association championship.
“When we started our search, we knew we wanted a fierce competitor, a champion, a person with integrity and someone to make our community proud. I didn’t need to look far,” said Dirty Birds owner and CEO Andy Shea. “P.J. embodies everything and more that we were looking for. We have shared great success in the past and we are completely aligned on the future and what we need to do: cbring Charleston a championship.”
“I’m happy to be back in the ALPB, a league I am very familiar with, pumped to be back working with Andy Shea and continuing on the winning tradition we have together,” said P.J. Phillips. “I can’t wait to bring a championship caliber team to the city of Charleston and to the fans who, I believe, are the best in the league.”
After two seasons in Lexington, Phillips managed the New Jersey Jackals this year to a 60-35 record, tied for best in the Frontier League and a 15-win increase over the club’s record in 2022. The Jackals led the Frontier League in runs, hits and home runs, providing a lot of offense for fans in northern New Jersey.
After being drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Angels in 2005, Phillips played in affiliated minor leagues as a middle infielder and outfielder for six seasons, mostly within the Angels’ organization before reaching Triple-A in 2012 within the Cincinnati Reds organization. He then played for two ALPB teams before heading west to Vallejo where his playing career ended, but his managerial career began with consistent success.
“We’re excited and honored to have P.J. as our Field Manager,” added Dirty Birds General Manager Ben Blum. “His competitive nature and proven track record of success are valued and bring the leadership we need for the Dirty Birds to win the 2024 ALPB Championship.”
With P.J. Phillips at the helm, the Dirty Birds’ 2024 season opens at home at GoMart Ballpark on Thursday, April 25 against the Staten Island Ferry Hawks. For people who want to join the fun in anticipation of a potential high-scoring championship season, ticket packages and season tickets are now on sale through the team’s web site: www.dirtybirdsbaseball.com.
The Charleston Dirty Birds are a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, which celebrated its 25th anniversary season in 2023. The Atlantic League is Major League Baseball’s first Professional Partner League, a player gateway to the major leagues and a leader in baseball innovation. The ALPB has sent more than 1,200 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 45 million fans to its family-friendly ballparks through its 25-year history. Please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.
MEDIA ADVISORIES: For more information and to arrange interviews with P.J. Phillips, please contact Rod Blackstone, (304) 610-9852 or Toast@dirtybirdsbaseball.com.
This Friday, the Charleston Dirty Birds will open the first-ever Salango Law Charleston Dirty Birds Light the Night, presented by GoMart, a two-million light holiday light show over 43 nights from Nov. 17 through New Years Day, 2024. To arrange interviews and/or news coverage, please email Toast@dirtybirdsbaseball.com.