Brandon Hyde was overcome with emotion Dec. 17 when he was introduced as the 20th manager in the history of the Baltimore Orioles.
That type of passion should bode well with the local fan base.
Hyde also has a sense of history and was honored that Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson sat in the front row amid a standing-room-only crowd in the auxiliary clubhouse at Camden Yards.
Hyde talked about the pictures of former managers Earl Weaver and Cal Ripken Sr. that adorn his office and what it means to be part of a storied organization like the Orioles.
"I grew up a baseball rat," Hyde said. "To be around history and be involved in a city like Baltimore is a dream come true. To be in the American League East and going out to compete every single night, that is something you dreamt about forever."
Hyde, 45, is widely respected around MLB because of his breadth of experience. He especially impressed new Orioles general manager Mike Elias, who chose him over five other reported candidates: Washington Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, Kansas City Royals quality control/catching coach Pedro Grifol, Arizona Diamondbacks director of player development Mike Bell, Colorado Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond and Seattle Mariners bench coach Manny Acta.
Hyde was also sold on the position in Baltimore after an extensive interview process with Elias and Sig Mejdal, the Orioles assistant general manager, analytics. There was synergy between the trio with their focus on rebuilding the proud franchise through player development.
"When we met, it was immediately clear to me that we share the same vision and passion toward building a winning culture, an elite organization and a championship ballclub," Hyde said.
Hyde began his coaching career with the Florida Marlins as the hitting coach for Low-A Greensboro in 2003, He rose through the ranks and became manager of Double-A Jacksonville in 2009. Hyde served as the Marlins' bench coach in June 2010 before joining the Chicago Cubs in December 2011 as a minor league field coordinator.
He later served as the Cubs' director of player development from August 2012 until the end of the 2013 season. Hyde was then promoted to Cubs' major league coaching staff and served as the bench coach in 2014 and 2018 and the first base coach from 2015-2017.
"He's had a varied career across all different aspects of baseball operations, with a ton of experience in player development, but also major league coaching," Elias said. "The experiences that he's had as a member of a front office, a minor league coaching staff, a minor league manager, a major league coach, a bench coach and a player brought such a wide breadth of perspective to the way he views the game, the manager's role and the relationship between the manager's office and the front office. Certainly, the mentorships he's received [were] just very attractive to us throughout this entire process."
Hyde now has a long list priorities ahead, beginning with building a coaching staff. From there, he can turn his focus to the Orioles' current group of players and rebuilding the club back into a contender.
However, he declined to put a timeline on when the Orioles might begin making a push for the playoffs.
"We're taking this one step at a time," said Hyde, a Santa Rosa, Calif., native that spent four seasons in the White Sox minor league system as a catcher and first baseman. "We understand where we are. We're going to be process-based. Mike and Sig's job is going to bring as much here talent as possible.
"My job is going to be to develop them in the big-leagues. So, however long that takes. But I feel confident we're going to hire a good coaching staff that's willing to work and willing to get after that. But no timetable."
Hyde said once he hired the coaching staff, he will begin reaching out to the players individually and building relationships. From there, that level of trust can translate to a high performance on the field.
"I want our players to focus on competing, to getting better every single day, to being a great teammate, to being held accountable, to hold others accountable. Just going out and competing every single night," Hyde said.