LINCOLN, NE – The Lincoln Saltdogs and the American Association jointly announced today that Saltdogs manager Bobby Brown is the league’s 2017 Manager of the Year.
Brown, in his second season in Lincoln, has guided the team to a 58-39 record with two games left in the regular season. The Saltdogs clinched their first Central Division Championship since 2014 with a 3-1 win over the Gary SouthShore RailCats on Friday night.
“Bobby earned the Manager of the Year Award because of his incredibly hard work during the offseason and throughout the 2017 campaign,” Saltdogs President/General Manager Charlie Meyer said. “It is rewarding to see his dedication translate to on-field success and recognition.”
Brown was named the Saltdogs skipper in January of 2016. He guided the club to an 18-game turnaround in his first season. He has amassed a record of 110-87 (.558) in his two years at the helm. The San Luis Obispo, California native is the second Saltdogs manager to earn the award after Tim Johnson was Northern League Manager of the Year in 2006.
“It is pretty easy to have success when you have the best General Manager, Hitting Coach and Pitching Coach in the league,” Brown said. “You have to have support all around you to be successful, and we have it in Lincoln. I view Manager of the Year as a ‘Team of the Year’ award.”
In addition to owning the third-best record in the league, the 2017 Saltdogs own the league’s best ERA (3.48), best defense (.982 fielding percentage) and fourth-best offense (.270 batting average). The pitching staff’s ERA could beat the franchise record of 3.51 and the team’s fielding percentage could beat the American Association record of .980.
Brown managed two all-stars this season. Catcher Dashenko Ricardo and infielder Cesar Valera were both named to the Midseason All-Star Team. Valera was the second baseman on the league’s Postseason All-Star list. Under Brown’s leadership, both Carlos Pimentel and Derek Gordon were named American Association Pitchers of the Week, while Gordon was the Pitcher of the Month in July.
Two Saltdogs players were signed to MLB organizations under Brown’s tutelage in 2017. Right-handed pitcher Brian McAfee was signed by the Mariners and left-handed pitcher Cesilio Pimentel was signed by the Diamondbacks.
Brown’s 2017 club compiled an impressive 35-17 record at Haymarket Park. The team set a franchise record with 12 straight wins at home and later tied that same record. The Saltdogs won five straight home games with walk-off wins, equaling a professional baseball record.
Before the Saltdogs, Brown was the manager of the Amarillo Thunderheads. Under his leadership, Amarillo sold five players to MLB organization from 2013-15, with two of them reaching the big leagues.
The 43-year-old managed Abilene of the North American League in 2012 and was the hitting coach for San Angelo in 2011. Brown played professionally for eight seasons, spending 1997 in the Kansas City Royals organization, and played collegiately at the University of Oklahoma. He is the seventh manager in franchise history.
There are still two regular season games left this season. First pitch for Sunday night’s game against the Gary SouthShore RailCats is at 6:10 PM with coverage beginning at 5:40 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.