John Shoemaker Named Mike Coolbaugh Award Winner

LOS ANGELES - Minor League Baseball announced today it has selected longtime Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League Manager John Shoemaker as the recipient of the eighth annual Mike Coolbaugh Award. The award was created by Minor League Baseball in 2008 to honor the late Mike Coolbaugh, a long-time professional baseball player and coach. Mike spent parts of two seasons playing in the Major Leagues and parts of nearly 20 seasons with Minor League Baseball teams, including separate stints in the Texas League as a player and coach. The Mike Coolbaugh Award is presented annually to an individual who has shown outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game and skill in mentoring young players on the field. Shoemaker will receive his award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

"With numerous qualified instructors eligible for this award, I feel extremely fortunate to be the recipient of this year's Mike Coolbaugh Award," said Shoemaker, who led the Ogden Raptors to a 43-33 mark in his 22nd season as a manager in the Dodgers organization. "Past, present and future winners of this award have the distinct privilege on honoring the legacy of Mike Coolbaugh, who throughout his career displayed passion, determination and perseverance, all valuable traits for a professional athlete. I am grateful to Pat O'Conner, Minor League Baseball, the entire Los Angeles Dodgers organization and most importantly, the Coolbaugh family for recognizing me with this award."

Shoemaker's career in professional baseball began in 1977, when the Dodgers drafted him in the 35th round out of Miami (OH) University. Shoemaker played four seasons before logging 22 seasons as a minor league manager, eight as a hitting coach and five as an instructor, all in the Dodgers organization. His 1996 Savannah club won the South Atlantic League championship, while his 2001 and 2005 Jacksonville clubs claimed Southern League crowns. Shoemaker was named Southern League Manager of the Year in 2001 and 2006 and has a 1363-1328 (.507) record as a minor league manager.

"On behalf of the Dodger organization, I would like to commend John Shoemaker on winning the Mike Coolbaugh Award," said former Dodgers manager and current Special Advisor to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda. "I have known 'Shoe' for a long time and I can say without a doubt that he is one of the hardest workers I know. He continues to leave a great impression on the young ballplayers in the organization and I couldn't be prouder of him on all of his accomplishments."

"Each year, we recognize one individual who exemplifies the principles and values that Mike represented both on and off the playing field, and John is certainly deserving of this recognition," said Pat O'Conner, Minor League Baseball president and chief executive officer. "I am honored that we are able to pay tribute to Mike's legacy through this award, and on behalf of Minor League Baseball, I congratulate John on being selected as this year's recipient."

PREVIOUS MIKE COOLBAUGH AWARD WINNERS

2008    Bobby Jones, Texas Rangers

2009    Charlie Montoyo, Tampa Bay Rays

2010    Woody Huyke, GCL Pirates

2011    Mike Jirschele, Omaha Storm Chasers

2012    Johnny Goryl, Cleveland Indians

2013    Mike Guerrero, Nashville Sounds

2014    Tom Wiedenbauer, Cleveland Indians

About Minor League Baseball

Minor League Baseball, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the governing body for all professional baseball teams in the United States, Canada, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic that are affiliated with Major League Baseball clubs through their farm systems. Fans are coming out in unprecedented numbers to this one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found at Minor League Baseball ballparks. In 2015, Minor League Baseball attracted 42.5 million fans to its ballparks to see the future stars of the sport hone their skills. From the electricity in the stands to the excitement on the field, Minor League Baseball has provided affordable family-friendly entertainment to people of all ages since its founding in 1901. For more information about Minor League Baseball, visit www.MiLB.com.