The Winnipeg Goldeyes' manager is being recognized as the American Association's top boss in 2020.

Rick Forney was voted the American Association's 2020 manager of the year by field managers, league executives, and media members from all 12 American Association clubs.

“Rick has proven himself to be one of the best managers in independent baseball over the past many years,” says Goldeyes’ general manager Andrew Collier in a release.

“We may have fallen short of our ultimate goal, but what Rick accomplished during this summer’s very unique season may have been his best performance ever.  At times, Rick filled in as clubhouse manager, trainer, COVID-19 testing coordinator, and several other jobs that are far beyond the scope of his normal duties as manager and pitching coach.”

The Goldeyes spent the entire season locked out of Winnipeg due to the Canada/U.S.A. border closure. Their home base was Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo-Moorhead.

While the team finished outside of the playoffs, they actually had a better season than the final record of 29-31 suggests.

The Goldeyes spent 37 of the season’s 70 calendar days in first place (43 in a playoff position), and remained in contention with less than a week left on the schedule.  An 11-game losing streak late in the year dropped Winnipeg back in the standings, but the club won four of its final seven and finished just 3.0 games out of the second playoff spot.

“Rick is a true leader of men, and a great manager,” says Goldeyes’ shortstop Wes Darvill.  “It has been a pleasure to play for Rick for four seasons, and I’m happy that he’s getting the credit he deserves this year.”

Forney also received the award in 2011, and he becomes just the fourth manager in the AA to win the award multiple times.

Forney played four seasons for the Goldeyes, from 1997-2000 setting several team pitching records. He has been the Goldeyes manager since 2006.