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The Man on the Mound Has Been on the Move!


New Pitching Coach has seen LOTS of ballparks & countless batters!

Mark Goodman never anticipated the roadmap for his baseball career but he’s never regretted any of the roads he’s travelled down - and there have been a lot of them! The 41-year-old packed his bags almost as much as he was hurled fastballs, taking his pitching talents and coaching expertise to mounds in 18 states and 3 countries.

“I often call myself a journeyman of baseball,” he chuckles. “Back in 2007, I was lucky to be sent to Moscow for a month to help coach the Russian Olympic Team. It was such a cool experience and something that not many people get the chance to do.”

The road warrior’s journey included five years in the Independent Professional Minor Leagues. One of the highlights came in his first professional outing, when he struck out the legendary Ricky Henderson! “It was just crazy,” he recalls with a laugh. “Me being 21 years old in my first professional outing and him being a future Hall of Famer - it was a very cool experience.”

Goodman is the Assistant Coach at the highly respected Colorado Mines Engineering University and is looking forward to this new adventure up north. “I’m really excited to come to Edmonton. It looks like a great stadium in a beautiful part of town and I want to check out a new city that has a great buzz for baseball.”

Goodman is looking forward to bringing his wealth of playing and coaching experience to the Riverhawks bullpen. “I love coaching because I love helping people and I want to see them get further than I’ve ever gone,” he explains. “I like to let my guys know that, 'Yeah, I was there; I was in your shoes once, and I know what it’s like.’ Pitching is trial and error. There’s not always a right answer, which is why baseball is so fun.”

Goodman is also a perfect match when it comes to the fun the Riverhawks like to have down at the ballpark. “The more fun baseball games are, the better! I’m looking forward to being a part of the fun up in Edmonton and adding to that great fan experience.”

Joining Goodman and the Hawks this season is Hitting Coach Tanner Kirwer, whose baseball story is one players in the dugout and the youngsters in the stands dream about.

The local product grew up playing ball in Sherwood Park Minor Baseball and Team Alberta - a path he shared with Head Coach Jake Lanferman. They played on the diamonds together since they were 13 years old. “I went to school with Jake and played ball with him up until the twelfth grade, so we’ve definitely built a great friendship,” says Kirwer.

Kirwer left Alberta for Niagara University, where the team he grew up cheering for, the Toronto Blue Jays, took note of his play and drafted him in the 20th round in 2017. The left-fielder spent his first MLB Spring Training Camp in the company of stars like Josh Donaldson and Marcus Stroman. “As a young professional, it was just really cool to see how those guys carry themselves on and off the field.”

Kirwer hopes his years of pro experience, most recently with the Tacoma Rainiers, will be an asset for the Riverhawks. “I’ve been blessed to learn so many things from some of the best professional coaches that are out there, and I’m really looking forward to sharing some of that knowledge with the guys I’ll be coaching this summer. This is a chance for me to help them implement an approach mindset and teach them that this is a game of failure. I’ve dealt with a lot of slumps in my life, played terribly for two weeks, and then the next week had the best performance of my life.”

While Kirwer’s life revolves around baseball, being back home in Edmonton has its perks, including time for family and friends, and golf and gaming! “Me and the buddies still love to play video games, even though we’re all 28 years old now, it’s still always a good time for us and something that I really enjoy. I’m also a whiz on the Rubik’s Cube,” he adds with a laugh.

The enthusiasm of the two new coaches has the Riverhawks’ bench boss excited to get the season started.

“Tanner is going to be a great presence on the bench for home games this summer,” says Jake Lanferman. “He and I have won championships together in the past and I know his passion for winning is as strong as mine.”

“Mark's resume speaks for itself; he’s a baseball guy through and through,” adds Lanferman. “We have very similar philosophies concerning player development, a hard-nosed brand of baseball and winning.”

Lanferman is also grateful to be welcoming back Assistant Coaches Dylan Flasch and Nathan Coffin.

“We have 5 quality individuals who are going to help these players excel in development and leave our organization as better baseball players and young men,” says Lanferman. “This group of coaches will help to be a stepping stone in the development to young professionals.”

Lanferman is excited about what this season has to offer. “We've spent a ton of time recruiting and we’re excited to see how this new group will come together and compete during the summer,” he says. “I want their experience in Edmonton to be second to none and enable them to brag about our great city and organization to their coaches, friends and families.”

Fans will get their first chance to see the new-look Riverhawks at the home opener Friday, June 7, at RE/MAX Field. Tickets are available at gohawks.ca