LOS ANGELES -- Longtime Dodgers Minor League manager John Shoemaker was named the winner of the eighth annual Mike Coolbaugh Award, presented to an individual who has shown outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game and skill in mentoring young players.
Shoemaker will receive his award at the Winter Meetings banquet on Sunday, Dec. 6, in Nashville. The award was named in memory of Coolbaugh, a former player who was killed when struck by a line drive while coaching first base in a Minor League game.
"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 Rookie-level Ogden Raptors to a 43-33 mark in his 22nd season as a manager in the Dodgers organization, in a statement.
"Past, present and future winners of this award have the distinct privilege of 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 [MiLB president] 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 (Ohio) 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 with the Dodgers.
Shoemaker was named Southern League Manager of the Year in 2001 and '06 and has a .507 winning percentage as a Minor League manager.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.