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Brett Jodie achieves 500 career wins

After newly activated infielder Edwin Espinal capped off a ninth-inning comeback with a walk-off grand slam on May 14 against the High Point Rockers, Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie sat at 499 career wins.

Jodie would finally eclipse the big milestone of 500 career wins after the team broke a three-game skid against the Lancaster Barnstormers in a 4-2 win on May 17.

Jodie is tied for longest tenured manager in Atlantic League with Mark Mason of the York Revolution. On August 26, 2015 he became the fastest skipper to reach 250 wins and is now the fastest to reach the 500 mark.

His No. 29 jersey has been synonymous with the Somerset Patriots’ success for the last seven campaigns to which he’s ushered in a 2015 league championship.

Jodie’s legacy with Somerset has built up over 16 seasons. Prior to players receiving instruction form Jodie, he was the recipient of his own tutelage from Patriot legend Sparky Lyle from 2003-05 where he won two league championships. In his inaugural campaign in Bridgewater, he made 10 starts on the mound for the Patriots.

“He pithed some great games for me,” Lyle said. “I always liked his baseball mind and how he goes about things. [Winning his 500th game is no surprise. I was looking for a pitching coach and him and my youngest son [Scott] were on the phone and said ‘Dad’s looking for a pitching coach,’ and I think [Jodie] said ‘I’ll be the pitching coach,’ that’s kind of how that happened. I think it’s a good place for him and like I said it’s no surprise the success he’s had.”

Sparky added that his former player as a “student of the game. He doesn’t leave any stone unturned.

Jodie commented on the impact his mentor had on him.

“Sparky did such a good job to prepare me for it. He made my job as a pitching coach so much easier. He would tell me from day one, ‘they’re yours.’ And to give me that kind of responsibility and respect me enough to trust me and let me do my thing was huge. He was very trusting. He put you in your place and let you do your thing. That’s what I really appreciated from him. Whether right or wrong I got to see how he did things.”

Ultimately, the humble Jodie wanted the credit to go to the team’s he has coached over the years.

A lot of loyalty to let me be here long enough to accomplish that goal,” Jodie said. “It’s very much a team-oriented thing and that means a lot. 500 team victories. It’s not about me, it’s about the guys and what they do every day.”

Somerset will be back in action for game two of their three-game set against the Barnstormers May 18 at 6:30 pm.

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Dylan is a sophomore journalism major at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and covers the Somerset Patriots and Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He is also the Sports Editor of Rider's student newspaper, The Rider News.
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