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Southern League honors Shoemaker, Lundberg

August 31, 2006 - Southern League (SL) - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp News Release

Jacksonville, FLA - The Southern League announced its 2006 on-field awards today and the Jacksonville Suns were well represented with a host of individual honors. The Southern League award winners are voted upon by the league's field managers, radio broadcasters and print media.

Manager John Shoemaker was named the Southern League Manager of the Year for 2006. Shoemaker, along with pitching coach Danny Darwin and hitting coach Mike Easler, led the Suns to the South Division's First Half Title, guiding the team to a 48-22 record that tied the 1998 club for the best half-record in Suns history. Also during this season, Shoemaker achieved a career milestone with his 1,000th win as a manager. 2006 is Shoemaker's third season with the Suns. Last season, under his guidance, the Suns captured the Southern League Championship and was named Baseball America's Minor League Team of the Year. In 2001, Shoemaker earned his first Southern League Manager of the Year award while leading the Suns to the Southern League co-championship. Shoemaker is currently in his 29th year with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Suns right-hander Spike Lundberg was honored as the 2006 Southern League's Most Outstanding Pitcher. Lundberg is currently leading the league with a 2.36 ERA and is second in the league with 14 victories. He put together an 11-game winning streak from May 1 through August 16 and has held opponents scoreless in five of his starts. Opponents have only managed a .227 batting average against Lundberg, who has recorded 105 strikeouts against just 41 walks while allowing only 121 hits and three home runs. Lundberg is the most experienced player on the Suns roster with nine minor league seasons under his belt. The Surpize, Ariz., native was originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the twenty-sixth round of the 1997 draft and has also been a member of the Cardinals', Phillies' and Blue Jays' organizations.

Two Suns were also named to the Southern League Post-Season All-Star Team. Shortstop Chin-Lung Hu and Designated Hitter Craig Brazell have been placed among the league's elite in 2006. Hu has made his mark defensively for the Suns, teaming up with second baseman Tony Abreu to set a club record for most double plays in a season. For the year, Hu leads the league with a .981 fielding percentage, committing just 10 errors in 522 chances.

Brazell, a former major leaguer, has been the Suns' most potent offensive weapon this season. Primarily a first baseman, Brazell leads the league with 21 home runs and 91 RBI. He also has proven his worth filling in at third base and in the outfield while some of his teammates recovered from injury. Brazell spent the majority of his career in the New York Mets organization after the Mets drafted him in the fifth round of the 1998 draft. He spent 24 days in the major leagues with the Mets in 2004, hitting one home run and recording three RBI.

The Suns are currently in Zebulon, N.C., closing out the regular season against the Carolina Mudcats. The team returns to the Baseball Grounds on Thursday, September 7 to host the first two games of the Southern League Playoffs. Tickets for the playoffs are currently on sale at the Suns' box office, by calling 904-358-2846 or online at

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Southern League Stories from August 31, 2006

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