Sussex Professional Baseball, LLC Names Steve Shirley Manager

Shirley, an experienced player and manager, will soon be announcing player signings

Augusta, N.J. – Jan. 9, 2015 – Sussex Professional Baseball, LLC today announced that The Sussex County MINERS, its new professional baseball team, has named baseball veteran Steve Shirley as manager. Shirley brings several decades of experience to the role, both as a player and manager. He will lead the Sussex County MINERS in its inaugural season. The home opener will be on Memorial Day, May 25, at Skylands Stadium in Augusta, N.J.

Most recently, Shirley served eight seasons at the Sioux Falls Canaries, where he won two league championships and was twice named team manager of the year. Earlier in his career, he played professional baseball for 15 years, including two years in Japan.

“Steve Shirley has the talent, experience and passion for building and nurturing baseball teams, with a keen understanding of how much great baseball can mean to a community,” said Dave Chase, general manager of the Sussex County MINERS. “Steve’s enthusiasm for creating a baseball culture in Sussex County is contagious. We are thrilled to be bringing him on board to lead the MINERS.”

“The return of baseball to Sussex County is a great thrill and challenge. We are assembling a team that will deliver the best in competitive play and excitement, and we will start to announce our signings over the next couple of weeks,” said Mr. Shirley. “Fans across the area – in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania – will soon have the opportunity to enjoy live high-caliber baseball very close to home.”

The MINERS are members of the Can-Am Association of Professional Baseball. In its first season, the Sussex County MINERS will play 55 home games starting Memorial Day through Labor Day, plus playoff games.

Shirley served as team manager for the Sioux Falls Canaries. Shirley, the longest-tenured Canaries manager in team history, led the team for eight seasons. In his second season as manager, Shirley led the Canaries to a 60-36 record, a First Half Division Title and the 2008 American Association championship. In 2010, Shirley guided the Canaries (then Pheasants) to their best record ever (63-33), a North Division pennant and spot in the league championship series. Shirley also notched his 200th win as a manager and became the career leader in managerial wins in Sioux Falls. In both 2008 and 2010, Shirley earned the American Association’s Manager of the Year award. Shirley managed previously with the Sioux City Explorers in 2005.

As a player, Shirley was a second round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974 and went on to a 15-year professional career. In 1982, Shirley pitched in 11 major league games for the Dodgers. He finished the season with a 1-1 record and a 4.36 ERA. He spent time playing in the Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Montreal Expos and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations. Shirley also played professional baseball internationally in Japan, for the Lotte Orions, and South America.

To view a schedule for the 2015 Sussex County MINERS season, visit:

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About Skylands Stadium

Built in 1994, Skylands Stadium is located in the heart of rural Sussex County in Frankford Township, (Augusta) New Jersey. Skylands Stadium LLC Management purchased the stadium in 2013, including the 4,200-seat ballpark, a 16,000-square foot all-purpose building and the surrounding 28 acres.

The Stadium has upgraded all concessions, restroom facilities and seating areas, as well as the playing field, club house and locker rooms. A new 5,000-square foot pavilion has been erected down the first base line. A special box has been designated for members of the media. An 18,000-square foot exhibit hall will be completed this winter, and an in-house catering facility will be open for business by spring 2015. For more information about the Sussex County MINERS or to become an official sponsor or advertiser contact Dave Chase at 973-500-2480.

Media Contact:

Patty Buchanan

Fastlane Communications

(973) 670-1203 /

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