Aaron Rowand wants to pass on his baseball knowledge and remain a family man.
His new opportunity with the White Sox affords him the chance to do both.
The White Sox named Rowand, who got a taste of the role last spring, as the team’s new minor-league outfield and base running instructor on Monday.
His schedule calls for Rowand — who played five seasons with the White Sox, including winning a World Series title in 2005 — to work with the organization’s players in spring training, sporadically throughout the season and then for a month in September and October at instructional camp.
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“I really enjoyed myself last year in spring training out there,” Rowand said on a conference call. “And to be given the opportunity to go out and do what I really love doing, which is coaching, and also have the opportunity to still spend some time at home with my son, who is going through his baseball stuff right now at 11 years old — it’s a blessing.
“Being able to do both and manage both, it was a perfect situation for me to be able to do both thingsthat are what I enjoy most in life.”
Rowand retired after the 2011 season at age 33. He said the primary reason was to spend time with his family, and he has thoroughly enjoyed that opportunity. Over the past few seasons, Rowand has filled in as a White Sox analyst on both radio and television and he also spent part of last spring working with the organization’s minor leaguers.
While he isn’t ready to commit to a full-time return to baseball right now — his son is 11 and his daughter is an eight-grader — Rowand potentially could see it in the future. The White Sox are more than happy to provide Rowand, whom they selected 35th overall in the 1998 amateur draft, with a chance to pass on his knowledge and see if coaching is something he’d like to pursue in the future.
“Aaron brings a great deal of passion to the ballpark every day, and we feel like his knowledge and expertise will be valuable assets to our player development system,” said player development director Nick Capra. “Aaron’s engaging personality and eagerness to teach make him perfect for this outfield and base running role, where he can connect with players up and down our system.”
If it’s a fit, Rowand could see himself in a more time consuming role down the road. He looks forward to the communication aspect of the position and wants to pass on critical information he thinks helped him excel in his career.
But for now, Rowand wants to keep a healthy balance between baseball and his family.
“I can definitely foresee stuff down the line as they get older and move out, do those sorts of things that it would be something I would enjoy doing,” Rowand said. “But this is some of the most important times of my children’s life, my life in being a father, and being able to be home and share all the experiences and stuff with them, it has been unbelievable and just fulfilling as a father.
“When this job came up and I was able to kind of be doing what I really enjoy doing in coaching and being around baseball and also being able to do the father thing and be home during the season half the time, there’s really not a better job in baseball than that.”