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It is the ultimate step and ultimate challenge for Ross Peeples.
The longest-tenured Atlantic League player in history has spent two seasons on the Lancaster coaching staff and now has taken over the reins of the ballclub for 2017.
The original Barnstormer from Crisp County, GA brings his 16 years of professional baseball experience to the dugout as the sixth manager in franchise history. Most of that experience has come in the Red Rose City. He has occupied a locker or an office long enough at Clipper Magazine Stadium to be dubbed “The Mayor.”
He came to Lancaster for the inaugural season in 2005. In his league record-setting 374 appearances over 10 seasons through 2014, Peeples compiled a 31-24 record and 4.49 ERA. The southpaw also established club career records with 603.2 innings logged and 325 strikeouts. Only RHP Dwayne Pollok won more games.
Peeples played a role in both championship seasons, returning from Tommy John surgery for the second half of 2006 and finishing out his playing career hoisting the 2014 Atlantic League Championship trophy.
Prior to joining the Barnstormers, Peeples had some stellar seasons in the New York Mets’ farm system. He captured New York-Penn League Pitcher of the Year honors in 2001, posting a 9-3 record and 1.34 ERA for the Brooklyn Cyclones. The next season, he finished fifth in the South Atlantic League with a 2.43 ERA.
He continues to teach lessons in the area and make community appearances on behalf of the Barnstormers.
Watch the Player Injury Story by Orthopedics Associates of Lancaster: