Jeff Banister was officially named the Bench Coach of the Pirates on 11/24/10. He served the Major League club in that same capacity in 2010 from August 8 thru the end of the season.
Now in his 29th season with the Pittsburgh organization, Banister spent eight years as the club's Minor League Field Coordinator after working the previous four years (1999-2002) as the Field Coordinator at the big league level.
Originally selected by the Pirates in the 25th round of the 1986 June free agent draft, Jeff began his professional playing career with Watertown. He compiled a .247 batting average, 37 home runs and 204 RBI in 515 minor league games. Banister made his Major League debut and only big league appearance as a pinch hitter with the Pirates on 7/23/91. He owns a career Major League batting average of 1.000, having singled off Atlanta's Dan Petry at Three Rivers Stadium in his only big league at bat. Jeff went on to miss the entire 1992 season due to right elbow surgery.
Banister served as a player/coach with Carolina (AA) in 1993 before beginning his managerial career with Welland in the New York-Penn League in 1994. He moved on to manage Augusta (A) in 1995 and Lynchburg (A) for 1996 and the first half of the 1997 campaign. His Augusta club captured the 1995 South Atlantic League championship. Jeff replaced Marc Hill as manager at Carolina for the remainder of the 1997 season and spent the entire 1998 campaign at the Mudcats helm. In his five seasons as a minor league manager, Banny compiled a 299-330 (.475) record. He also managed in the Hawaiian Winter League in 1995 and 1996; his team advanced to the playoffs each season, with his Honolulu club winning the championship in 1995. In 2004, Jeff managed Lynchburg for two weeks during a managerial change.
Banister's most recent stint as a manager came in the Fall of 2009 as he managed the Scottsdale Scorpions to a 15-16 record and a second place finish during the Arizona Fall League.
Jeffrey Todd Banister...Wife's name is Karen...Has two children; daughter Alexandra (4/30/95) and son Jacob (4/5/02).
Is a 1982 graduate of LaMarque (TX) High School, where he played baseball, football and golf...Was a quarterback and linebacker on the football team...Has battled bone cancer and osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone or bone marrow) throughout his professional career, in addition to having seven operations on his left ankle and leg in 1980...Played for Baytown (TX) Junior College, where he had his vertebrae crushed in a home-plate collision that left him temporarily paralyzed from the neck down...Attended the University of Houston i n 1985-86.
Shared the NBC Sportsman-of-the-Week award with Dennis Martinez (who threw a perfect game for the Expos) after making his big league debut in 1991...Was the first recipient of the Gilda Radner Courage Award (1991-92).
Received the "Pride of the Pirates" award in 2011, recognizing a member of the Pirates family who has demonstrated the qualities of sportsmanship, dedication and outstanding character during a lifetime of service.
Has participated in the last four team caravans and PirateFest events.