Minor League baseball announced Tuesday it has selected Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League manager John Shoemaker as the recipient of the eighth annual Mike Coolbaugh Award.
Shoemaker managed the Dodgers’ rookie affiliate Ogden Raptors to a 43-33 record in 2015, good for a first-place finish in the Pioneer League South division.
He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 26th round of the 1974 draft but did not sign with the club.
The Dodgers then drafted Shoemaker in 1977 (35th round) and he has been part of the organization since.
Shoemaker played four seasons before embarking on now 22-year career as a Minor League manager, eight years as hitting coach and five as an instructor.
Shoemaker won the South Atlantic League championship in 1996 with the Savannah Sand Gnats, a co-Southern League title with Jacksonville in 2001, and an outright Southern League crown in 2006. The longtime Dodgers figure was named Southern League Manager of the Year in 2001 and 2006.
“With numerous qualified instructors eligible for this award, I feel extremely fortunate to be the recipient of this year’s Mike Coolbaugh Award,” Shoemaker said. “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.”
Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda commended Shoemaker for winning the award. “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,” Lasorda said.
“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.”