Sock Puppets run it back with Essien as manager

Anthony Essien to return for third season, first full season as manager

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- The 2022 season had a bunch of accolades for the Burlington Sock Puppets; won the Organization of the Year, hosted the MLB Network Televised All-Star Game, won the East Division and hosted the 2022 Championship Game, broke the single-game attendance record, to name just a few. Now, as the club looks to build on its success in the new 2023 season, one familiar face returns at the helm, Anthony Essien. Essien, who has been with the Sock Puppets since their inaugural season, will be the new manager of the club for the 2023 season. He served as the interim manager the last half of the 2022 season, as well as pitching coach for the team since 2021.

"Getting Ant back was one of the highlights of this off-season for us," said general manager Anderson Rathbun. "Not only is he incredible in the clubhouse as a mentor for our players, he is an incredibly dedicated role model to our community each summer."

"I am eagerly looking forward to Year 3 in Burlington." Anthony Essien said. "Being the manager is a challenge that I welcome. My objective is to help our players be better at the end of July than they will be when they show up the beginning of June. We will not only put a competitive team on the field but will also do our best to develop every single player on the roster."

The Sock Puppets went from last place in their division in 2021 to first place in their division and finished as runner-up for the league championship in 2022. So far, there have been five Sock Puppet alumni to be selected in MLB Drafts. With Essien at the helm, get ready for that number to increase exponentially over the next few years.

Essien currently serves as the pitching coach for Reedley Community College (CA). His coaching staff, and the 2023 Sock Puppets roster, will be announced at a later date.

About the Burlington Sock Puppets

The Burlington Sock Puppets 2023 season is presented by Entering Year 3, get ready for some SOCKingly new and unique ballpark experiences. Including a BRAND NEW Right Field entertainment venue that the City of Burlington is creating at Burlington Athletic Stadium. For information on group & hospitality outings, season memberships and anything Sock Puppets, contact or call 336-222-0223.