Longtime director of player development to be inducted into A’s Hall of Fame

Oakland Athletics' longtime farm director Keith Lieppman to be inducted into A's Hall of Fame

Oakland Athletics’, from the left, Keith Lieppman, director of player development, Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, manager Bob Geren, third base coach Mike Gallego chat in the dugout after a spring training intersquad game at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, in Phoenix, Ariz., on Tuesday, March 2, 2010. (Anda Chu/Staff)

MESA, Ariz. — Manager Bob Melvin let some big new slip in a crowded daily scrum. Former director of player development Keith Lieppman would be inducted into the Oakland Athletics Hall of Fame this year.

With the full squad reporting on Monday, Melvin made sure to tell the entire team the news in his opening address.

“I’ve had rounds of applause in those meetings before, but nothing like that. That was deafening,” Mevin said.

Lieppman, 70, received the 2019 Tony Gwynn Award, Baseball America’s lifetime achievement award bestowed to the game’s most influential figures. For 50 years Lieppman was the engine fueling an A’s farm system that’s been extolled for decades. Lieppman grew up a Kansas City A’s fan was the team’s farm director for 28 years.

“He touched so many of these guys in the organization, almost everybody in the room,” Melvin said. “And not just the players. The coaches, the managers.”

“I think he’s the most influential guy in, maybe, Oakland A’s history as far as development of the players here.”

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