When the Delmarva Shorebirds take to the field later this spring, the coaching staff will include the first female coach in Shorebirds’ history and in the Orioles’ minor-league system.
Liz Pardo, who grew up in Walkersville, Md., west of Frederick, grew up a New York Yankees fan, a team considered an arch enemy of the Orioles of Baltimore.
Now, however, Pardo has no choice but to be an Orioles fan: She is the new strength and conditioning coach for the Minor League team that plays in Salisbury and feeds the Baltimore system with players.
Pardo was hired in 2020 and assigned to the Aberdeen Ironbirds, but was never able to do her job because the pandemic canceled the season. Her job in Salisbury will be to help develop players.
The history-making Pardo is a member of a field staff that will lead the Shorebirds in the 2021 season. Leading Delmarva for the 2021 campaign is Manager Dave Anderson, entering his second season as the Shorebirds skipper, joined by Robbie Aviles, Patrick Jones, Matt Packer, David Barry and Gary Smith.
Anderson was named the 16th manager in Delmarva Shorebirds history in 2020 and will lead the Shorebirds in their silver anniversary season in 2021. Anderson enters his seventh season in the Orioles minor league system, serving as the O’s minor league infield coordinator prior to taking the skipper job with the Shorebirds.
Spending the past 27 years as a coach, coordinator or manager, Anderson brings with him a wealth of knowledge to lead the Shorebirds 2021 campaign.
Previously managing in the farm systems of the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, L.A. Angels, and at his alma mater, the University of Memphis, Anderson has a storied history of helping baseball players reach the next level. In addition, Anderson brings with him Major League Baseball coaching experience winning two American League pennants in 2010 and 2011 with the Texas Rangers as their third base coach.
Aviles continues his journey through the Orioles’ minor league coaching ranks after spending the 2019 season as the pitching coach in Aberdeen. Under Aviles’ watch, the IronBirds’ staff boasted the best ERA (2.38) and WHIP (1.11) in the entire minor leagues. In his own playing days, Aviles pitched seven seasons in the Cleveland Indians’ system, reaching as high as Triple-A Columbus in 2017.
Jones begins his second season in the Orioles minor league system and his first as Delmarva’s Hitting Coach. Growing up in Cincinnati, he won a 2014 Big-East championship at Xavier University before playing two years of independent professional baseball.
Packer will serve as the Fundamentals Coach in his second season with the Shorebirds. Packer previously served as the hitting coach at Post University in Connecticut and at the IMG Academy in Florida. As a pitcher, Packer spent six seasons in the Cleveland system from 2009-14, reaching as high as Triple-A Columbus. He played independent baseball for two seasons before retiring in 2015.
Barry takes over as the Shorebirds Development Coach in his first season as a coach in Delmarva after serving as the Shorebirds video technician in 2019. Prior to joining the Orioles, Barry served as an intern in the Houston Astros organization and a Baseball Operations Manager for the Indiana University baseball team.
Smith enters his first season as the Athletic Trainer for the Shorebirds and fifth season overall with the Orioles organization. Previously, Smith worked with the GCL Orioles in 2017 before moving up to join the IronBirds coaching staff for the last three seasons.
“We are excited to welcome in this new coaching staff for the 2021 campaign as we usher in the 25th season of Shorebirds baseball here on Delmarva,” said Shorebirds General Manager Chris Bitters. “Consistently, the Orioles provide us with premiere talent and leadership allowing our fans a front-row view to the future Baltimore Orioles in Delmarva today.”
Formerly a member of the South Atlantic League, the Shorebirds will now play in the Low-A East League. Joining the Shorebirds in the North Division are the Fredericksburg Nationals (Nationals), Lynchburg Hillcats (Indians), and Salem Red Sox (Red Sox) who all previously played in the Advanced-A Carolina League.
Opening Day for the Shorebirds is Tuesday, May 4 against the Salem Red Sox.