Former Express player Mark Hallberg was added to Gabe Kapler’s, and the San Francisco Giants, coaching staff yesterday as a Major League Assistant Coach. Hallberg was a member of the Eau Claire Express inaugural season, playing for the team in 2005, and is listed on the team’s single-season record books after assisting 159 putouts in his only season at Carson Park.
Playing collegiately for the University of Illinois Chicago, Hallberg transferred to Florida State before being drafed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth round of the 2007 MLB Draft. Hallberg played five seasons in the minors, climbing his way up to AAA Reno Aces in 2011. After concluding his playing career, the Barron, Wisconsin native spent four seasons as an assistant coach for the Orleans Firebirds in the Cape Cod League. Prior to his appointment with the Giants, Hallberg most recently served as the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes’ Manager in 2019.
Notably, Hallberg’s hiring comes alongside a historic moment for Major League Baseball. Alyssa Nakken, a former Sacramento State softball standout and member of the Giants organization, became the first female coach on a major league baseball team when she was named an assistant coach with San Francisco.
The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Stars Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.eauclaireexpress.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Express as your favorite team.