ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — Minor League Baseball announced Thursday that Bluefield Blue Jays manager Dennis Holmberg is the winner of the 10th annual Mike Coolbaugh Award.
Holmberg, who manged the Auburn Doubledays from 2002-10, will receive the award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Dec. 10 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida.
The Mike Coolbaugh Award is presented to an individual who has shown outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game and skill in mentoring young players on the field. The award was created by Minor League Baseball in 2008 to honor the late Coolbaugh, a 17-year minor league player who was in his first year as a coach at the time of his passing.
“I am humbled and deeply honored to be chosen as the 2017 recipient of the Mike Coolbaugh Award," Holmberg said in a statement. "To be included on the list with the previous winners and their accomplishments only reminds me of Mike’s work ethic, his knowledge and passion for the game. I am grateful to the Toronto Blue Jays organization for 40 years of opportunity, Pat O’Conner and all of Minor League Baseball and most importantly, the Coolbaugh family.”
Holmberg played eight seasons in the Milwaukee Brewers organization from 1970-77. Following his playing career, Holmberg started a coaching career that has lasted 40 years, the last 39 in the Blue Jays organization.
Holmberg has coached or managed 244 players that have reached the Major Leagues and has a managerial record of 1,474-1,355. His 1,474 wins are ninth-most among active minor league managers.