Kenneth Raymond Oberkfell (born May 4, 1956) is an American former Major League Baseball third baseman. He played from 1977 to 1992 for six different teams. Oberkfell primarily played third base but he also played over 400 career games at second base. After retiring as a player, Oberkfell served as a baseball coach. He has primarily coached in the minor leagues, but he spent the part of the 2008 as the New York Mets first base coach and spent the 2011 season as the Mets bench coach. He is currently the hitting coach for the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League.
Oberkfell with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1983
|Born: May 4, 1956|
|August 22, 1977, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 4, 1992, for the California Angels|
|Runs batted in||446|
|Career highlights and awards|
Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1975, Oberkfell made his Major League Baseball debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on August 22, 1977, and appeared in his final game on October 4, 1992. Oberkfell was a member of the 1982 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, hitting .292 in that series.
Oberkfell was part of the "Bearded Braves" triumvirate along with Glenn Hubbard and Bruce Sutter. He told Neil Holfeld of the Houston Chronicle in a May 17, 1985 story that, "the beards make us stand out from the clean cut Dale Murphy types. Consider us a modern era House of David team."
In a 16-year major league career covering 1602 games, Oberkfell compiled a .278 batting average (1354-for-4874) with 558 runs, 237 doubles, 44 triples, 29 home runs, 446 RBI and 546 base on balls. He finished his career with a .973 fielding percentage. In 17 postseason games, he batted .245 (12-for-49).
After his retirement as a player in 1992, Oberkfell embarked on a successful managerial career that saw him named Minor League Manager of the Year by Baseball America in 2005. He also served as the manager of the New Orleans Zephyrs from January 4, 2007 until June 17, 2008, when he was promoted to the Mets as their first base coach, replacing Tom Nieto. During 2009 and 2010, Oberkfell managed the Mets' Triple-A farm team, the Buffalo Bisons. On January 28, 2010, Oberkfell led the Leones del Escogido to their 13th championship in the Dominican Baseball Winter League as their manager.
He was interviewed for the Mets managerial opening in November 2010. He was named the New York Mets bench coach for the 2011 season, but was not hired back for 2012. Oberkfell served as the manager of the Newark Bears of the independent Can-Am League during the 2012 season before stepping down in August.
In 2013, Oberkfell became the manager of the Lincoln Saltdogs in Lincoln, Nebraska. He resigned for family reasons after the 2015 season.
- Buffalo Bisons press release
- Martino, Andy (November 12, 2010). "Ken Oberkfell interviewed by Mets GM Sandy Alderson for team's managerial opening". Daily News. New York.
- Wilson, Oberkfell among new Mets coaches
- Mets shake up coaching staff for 2012 season
- Eck, T. J. "Oberkfell steps down, Brown named Saltdogs manager". 1011now.com. Retrieved October 26, 2016.