"We are extremely excited to add Rick to our major-league coaching staff," said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. "The wealth of knowledge and experience he brings to the position was evident throughout the interview process, and we are confident that he will be an invaluable resource for Robin and the rest of the coaching staff."
Renteria managed three seasons (2004-06) in the Padres system at Class A Lake Elsinore in the California League and one (2007) at Class AAA Portland. Prior to his 11-year stint in the San Diego organization, he managed four seasons in the Florida Marlins minor-league system with Class A Brevard County (1998), Class A Kane County (1999) and Class AA Portland (2000-01). Renteria was named the Midwest League Manager of the Year in 1999 after guiding Kane County to a 78-59 record.
Renteria was a career .237 (100-422) hitter over parts of five major-league seasons with Pittsburgh (1986), Seattle (1987-88) and Florida (1993-94). A native of Harbor City, Calif., he originally was selected by the Pirates in the first round (20th overall) of the 1980 draft.
Sparks, 51, spent the last 19 seasons (1997-2015) in the Oakland Athletics organization. He served as the Athletics minor-league hitting coordinator in 2015 and from 2004-11, and as the hitting coach with Class AAA Sacramento from 2012-14 and Mesa in the Arizona Fall League in 2014.
"We felt like Rick and Greg both would be great fits with our coaching staff," said White Sox Manager Robin Ventura. "Rick brings a lot to the table with his background as a manager and bench coach and his ability to communicate well with players. Greg has a great track record with the Oakland organization, and his successful history of working with Todd Steverson will serve our hitters well."
Sparks compiled a 359-352-1 record (.505) over six seasons as a minor-league manager from 1998-03, earning Northwest League co-Manager of the Year honors in 1999 with Class A Southern Oregon.
During his time in the Athletics organization, Sparks worked with major-leaguers Daric Barton, Chris Carter, Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Derek Norris, Kurt Suzuki and Stephen Vogt. After joining Sacramento as hitting coach in 2012, Sparks was replaced as Oakland's minor-league hitting coordinator by current White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson.
Sparks appeared in 1,270 career minor-league games over 12 seasons with nine different organizations, batting .241 (1,010-4,183) with 120 home runs and 630 RBI. He was selected by San Diego in the fifth round of the 1984 draft.
Sparks' father, Joe, was the White Sox first base coach in 1979, managed in their minor-league system from 1970-75 and 1977-79 and spent five seasons (1966-69, '73) as a player in the Sox minor-league system. Greg was a batboy for the Sox during the 1979 season, including Disco Demolition Night on July 12, 1979.