PaddleHeads to tab 16-year Professional Baseball Veteran as Team Manager
Michael Schlact brings versatile baseball resume to lead the next generation of athletes in Missoula
Tuesday , the Missoula PaddleHeads held a virtual press conference announcing 16-year Professional Baseball veteran, Michael Schlact as the team’s manager for the 2021 campaign. Schlact’s work to bring a championship caliber team to Missoula begins immediately as he will work along side the PaddleHeads’ Front Office to establish his field staff, and begin the player acquisition process.
“I am incredibly honored, humbled, and blessed to be named the Manager of the Missoula PaddleHeads.” said Schlact. “This is a first-rate organization & a community that people across the country & within the baseball world speak very highly of. My family & I couldn’t be more thankful to Peter, Matt, and the rest of the organization. We look forward to spending our summer in Missoula & getting to know the wonderful people both at the ballpark & in the community. Our goal from day one is to have a team that is professional on and off the field while competing for a championship year in and year out. We’re thrilled to be bringing an exciting baseball experience to Missoula all summer long.”
Schlact has experienced success in baseball as a player, coach, and manager. After a successful high school career at Wheeler High School in Marietta, Georgia, he was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 3rd round of the 2004 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft. Schlact played parts of 10 seasons in the Minor Leagues and Independent Baseball as a pitcher reaching as high as Double A for 4 seasons. Primarily a starting pitcher in professional baseball, Schlact toed the rubber for 130 starts in 139 appearances . His best season was in Clinton of the Midwest League as a member of the Rangers. That season he won 10 games in 28 starts with a 4.17 ERA over 168 innings pitched.
Following a stint in 2014 with Amarillo in the American Association of Independent baseball, Schlact hung up the cleats as a player and moved directly into the coaching ranks. In 2015, Schlact joined the Fargo-Moorehead RedHawks as their Pitching Coach. In August of 2017, he was named interim Manager of the RedHawks and guided them to a great 16-8 finish that got them within one game of a playoff spot. Schlact’s solid leadership provoked the RedHawks to name him their full time Manager in September of 2017. Schlact added the role of Player Personnel Director to his Field Manager title and helped oversee the player development, player personnel, and player procurement division of the RedHawks. In 2018, he skillfully guided the team to a winning record (51-49) and remained in playoff contention until the final week of the season. His record as manager of the RedHawks was an impressive 67-57 in 2017 and 2018. Schlact then spent the off-season building his second RedHawks team and was preparing to lead them into the regular season when the Milwaukee Brewers came calling. That RedHawks team went on to a 63-37 record and a playoff berth demonstrating Schlact’s ability to construct a winning team.
With the Brewers, in 2019, Schlact was made the Pitching Coach for the Rocky Mountain Vibe in the Pioneer League. He didn’t make it to Missoula, however, as the Vibe and Os prey didn’t play that season being in different divisions. Schlact was then set to be the Pitching Coach for the Brewers in the Arizona Rookie League in 2020 when the season was cut due to COVID-19.
With the PaddleHeads, Schlact will return to his former role with Fargo as Field Manager and Player Personnel Director. He will assist the team in the running of all PaddleHeads Baseball Operations functions and will lead the team on the field in 2021.
“Michael Schlact checks all of our boxes for the next Manager of the Missoula PaddleHeads.” said PaddleHeads’ Vice President Matt Ellis. “He is a lifelong baseball man who has both played and coached the game at a high professional level. He knows how to be successful in Independent Baseball from his time as a player and a coach. His track record as a coach and manager with the Fargo-Moorehead RedHawks shows his ability to manage and build a successful roster on the field. He is a solid person that will cultivate success for our players on the field, but most importantly, he will support their growth as quality individuals off-field. Michael is a great fit for us as a competitor and as a member of our franchise and community. We are proud to introduce him to lead our team on the field.”
With Opening Day of the PaddleHeads’ 2021 season tabbed for May 22, a limited number of season ticket packages remain, and fans are encouraged to act quickly to ensure they don’t miss a minute of the action. Follow the PaddleHeads on their social media platforms or at www.gopaddleheads.com to stay up to date on player signings, promotions and event announcements, and the latest happenings around the franchise