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Published On: October 28th, 2014


(Pictured: Royals 3rd Base Coach Mike Jirschele, father of former Rafter Justin Jirschele)

Despite the Milwaukee Brewers’ disappointing end to the 2014 season, baseball fans in central Wisconsin still have a reason to pay close attention to this year’s edition of the World Series, featuring the Kansas City Royals of the American League and the San Francisco Giants of the National League. Mike Jirschele is the 3rd Base Coach for the Royals, and a native of Clintonville, WI, and still spends his off seasons there.
Wisconsin Rapids baseball fans should remember the name Jirschele as well. Mike’s son Justin starred at UW-Stevens Point and also played for the Rafters during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Justin recently completed his second season playing professionally in the Chicago White Sox organization and became the first Rafters player to reach the AAA level, when he finished the season with the Charlotte Knights this year.

“My mom and I have been joking this whole postseason, we just keep waiting to wake up from this dream,” Justin said when asked what it is like to see in dad coaching in the World Series. “Sometimes you have to look down and see the World Series paint on the field to remind yourself that this isn’t technically just another game, even though it sometimes has the feel of it. It’s so cool to see him down there coaching 3rd base on the biggest stage of professional baseball.
In a recent interview with Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jirschele described his long and winding road to Kansas City and the World Series. Jirschele was drafted in the fifth round of the 1977 baseball draft by the Texas Rangers and set out on his dream of playing professional baseball. 13 years and 999 games laters his playing career would end without ever spending a day in the majors. It was at that time he began his second career in player development with the Royals, managing their AAA affiliate in Omaha for 14 season, including the last 11 beginning in 2003.
Ned Yost, the manager of the Royals and a former Brewers manager, saw the opportunity for Jirschele to join his staff in Kansas City after shifting roles around for some other coaches and thinking of the development Royals players Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Perez, and Jarrod Dyson had shown under Jirschele’s tutelage.
“It made all of the sense in the world,” Yost said. “He knows all of these kids so well from managing them in the minors. He was a perfect fit on the staff.”
When its suggested that Jirschele has paid his dues to get here, and he’s asked to think back on all the bus rides and nights away from home in cheap hotels, he responds, “Yeah, I have. But I’ve enjoyed it all the way…it’s a lot of fun.”

To read the full interview, please visit:


The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit