As 2009 draws to a close, the Bulls are taking their season winning streak down to the end. Both the team & their skipper won major awards in the last week of the year.
Bulls Named Triple A Team of the Year
The Durham Bulls complete 2009 by winning MLB.com’s Triple-A Team of the Year.
Following a season that included a third-straight South Division Title, a Governors’ Cup and the franchises’ first National Championship, MLB.com named the Durham Bulls the 2009 Triple-A Team of the Year
Montoyo Wins Coolbaugh Award
Minor League Baseball recently announced Durham Bulls Manager Charlie Montoyo has been awarded the second annual Mike Coolbaugh Award. He will be honored with Minor League Baseball’s four other major award winners during the December 7-10 Baseball Winter Meetings™ in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Durham Bulls Manager Charlie Montoyo
The Coolbaugh Award is presented to an individual who has shown an outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game and skill in mentoring young players on the field. Montoyo has been a manager in Tampa Bay’s Minor League system for the past 13 seasons, the last three with the Durham Bulls. This year he led the Bulls to their third straight South Division crown on their way to the International League title. Durham then defeated Pacific Coast League Champion Memphis 5-4 in 11 innings in the Triple-A National Championship game.
“Charlie has done a phenomenal job as our manager over the last three seasons,” Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling said, “Three division titles, three appearances in the Governors’ Cup Finals, one league championship and our first National Championship are only a part of what makes him great. The way he works with the players and front office while serving as a leader of our proud franchise is truly remarkable.”
Since beginning his managerial career with Princeton in the Appalachian League in 1997, Montoyo has led six clubs to playoff berths, including all three of his Durham squads. He piloted the 2006 Montgomery Biscuits to the Southern League title. The Bakersfield Blaze (2001) and Hudson Valley Renegades (1998) are the other clubs Montoyo has guided to post-season play.
“Charlie has been a hard working, loyal staff member for the Rays since 1996,” remarked Tampa Bay Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics. “He is a dedicated teacher of our game with a passion to help players both on and off the field. Charlie exemplifies everything that the Mike Coolbaugh Award stands for. We are proud and thrilled that he is receiving this award.”
Carl Crawford, Josh Hamilton, Evan Longoria, Jeff Niemann, David Price, James Shields, B.J. Upton, Delmon Young and Ben Zobrist are just some of the current major leaguers that Montoyo has managed in the Minors.
Montoyo played 10 seasons as a Minor League infielder from 1987-1996. He appeared in four games with the Montreal Expos in 1993, hitting .400 with three RBI.
Thanks to DBBC’s Matt DeMargel for these capcom stories & photos.