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A charter member of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs when the independent minor league outfit was birthed in 2008, Patrick Osborn has departed his position as manager of the team that he's maintained the last three seasons.

Osborn, the Blue Crabs starting third baseman from 2008 to 2010 while being groomed into the club's skipper role, has accepted the job to manage one of the two New York Yankees Gulf Coast League teams.

This career move brings Osborn one step closer to his dream of becoming a Major League Baseball manager.

“I can't thank the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and the Atlantic League enough for the opportunity to start my managerial career within such a great environment,” Osborn said in a Thursday press release from the Blue Crabs. “The guidance, support and professionalism has been second to none. The Southern Maryland community has impacted my life, as well as my baseball career, in ways I never imagined. I'm looking forward to this next step as I try to rise to the pinnacle of baseball.”

The Blue Crabs are in the midst of a national search to find their next manager with no undisclosed timetable in place for that person to be named.

Osborn, a 33-year-old Bakersfield, Calif., native who currently lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., played nine seasons of minor league baseball before inaugural Blue Crabs manager Butch Hobson selected him as a predecessor in Southern Maryland prior to the 2011 season when Hobson left to become the skipper with the Atlantic League's Lancaster Barnstomers.

Osborn's teams posted a 199-202 record, a .496 winning percentage, in his three years as the Blue Crabs manager.

Despite being just under .500, the Blue Crabs made the playoffs in each of his three seasons and came within a Game 5 late-inning loss of advancing to the Atlantic League Championship Series in the 2012 divisional series of the playoffs.

That was as close as the Osborn-led Blue Crabs got to playing for the franchise's elusive championship in a best-of-five series.

In Osborn's final season at the helm, the Blue Crabs were 65-74, which was the best overall record in a weak Liberty Division that still yielded the Long Island Ducks as the league champions for the second straight year.

Osborn's best year with the Blue Crabs, record-wise, was in 2011 when they were 65-57. Their overall mark was third best that year in the division. In 2012, the Blue Crabs' 69-71 losing tab led the division, as was the case this past year.

"A big part of our job is to assist our on-field personnel in pursuing their dreams of making it to the Major Leagues,” Blue Crabs general manager Patrick Day said in the press release. “Patrick and the Atlantic League assist players in getting back to Major League organizations every summer, now it's his turn. Our organization has always believed that he will someday be a Major League manager. We are excited for him and wish him all the best.”

dcogle@somdnews.com