The Missoula Paddleheads professional minor league baseball team has named their first manager who hails all the way from Georgia, with nearly 16 years of professional experience.

He is Michael Schlact, and he spoke with KGVO News on Wednesday after being introduced in a ZOOM press conference.

“I was drafted out of high school in 2004,” said Schlact. “I played 10 years of professional baseball at the minor league level. Then I jumped over to independent baseball and then started coaching. So I've been a pitching coach, a manager, and then most recently, I was a pitching coach in the minor leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers before taking this position.”

Since the Paddleheads are no longer affiliated with a major league team, Schlact will start from scratch putting his team together.

“I was hired as the manager, so I'm going to get to pick the staff and we're getting to work to put a really good product on the field,” he said. “The exciting part for the fans is that they're going to see baseball in its purest form. We're there to win a championship. We're there to put an exciting team on the field, and it's going to be really cool for them to see that.”

Schlact, who has not yet been to Missoula, has heard great things about Ogren Park Allegiance Field.

“I have some really good friends that have come through there as players and coaches. And when they heard the news, they just they reached out immediately and, of course they talked about the town and the community. They said the baseball facilities, the backdrop, the way the players are treated are second to none, and so that that really gets me excited to get up there.”

Schlact was asked about the unusual mascot, in that he has never seen a moose up close and personal.

“I did not know what a paddlehead was,” he said. “We don't have moose in Georgia. I can't say that I've ever seen a moose in person, and when I saw the logo, and I started to realize that it was a moose, or at least the antlers of a moose, I just couldn't believe it. “I love it. I think it's so unique. I think it’s a good logo and a good mascot and a good picture of what the team, what the city, and what the community is all about, and I think they nailed it on that. It's a really good rebrand.”

The Paddleheads start their season on the road at Great Falls on May 22.

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