A's bring back Eckersley as special assistant

A's bring back Eckersley as special assistant

SAN FRANCISCO -- In a continuing trend of promoting the team's tradition and history, the Oakland A's announced the hiring of Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley as a special assistant on Friday.

Eckersley is currently a TV broadcaster for the Boston Red Sox, but will serve in an "alumni ambassador" role, according to a statement from A's president Dave Kaval. Fellow former A's great Rickey Henderson currently holds a similar title within the organization and can be seen in the clubhouse and on the field during batting practice at select home games. It's unclear whether Eckersley's role will be similar.

"It's nice to be able to reunite with the A's," Eckersley said in a statement. "I have a lot of fond memories growing up in the Bay Area and playing for the A's; they were some of the greatest years of my career. I look forward to reconnecting with the A's and the fans."

A's manager Bob Melvin said he's gotten to know Eckersley over the years and that he's enjoying the franchise's direction under the leadership of Kaval.

"It's great that we are embracing our past and bringing in guys that were important in our team's history, and we have a lot of them," Melvin said. "Whether it's Rickey, or Dave Stewart, Jose Canseco -- they're important to our past and are going to be with us more and more, so I applaud that."

Stewart and Canseco have been tabbed to work with NBC Sports California as Oakland A's studio analysts, along with former southpaw Dallas Braden. Ex-Oakland lefty Mark Mulder is also slated to call 30 games for NBC Sports California as a color commentator.

The A's will dedicate their home field at Oakland Coliseum to Henderson on Monday before the Opening Day matchup against Los Angeles at 7:15 p.m. PT.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the A's on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.