The Sussex County Miners of the Can-Am League have named Steve Shirley as the club’s first manager.

Shirley, a native of San Francisco, has spent the last eight seasons as the manager of the Sioux Falls Canaries of the American Association. Shirley won the league’s Manager of the Year award in 2008 after leading the Canaries to a 60-36 record and capturing the only championship in the city’s 22-year independent baseball history. He won the award again in 2010 after leading the club to a league-best 63-33 record and a spot in the league finals.

However, the last four years have been a struggle for Shirley, especially this past season, when the Canaries finished in last place in the American Association’s North Division and posted a 33-67 record — the worst in franchise history.

Shirley also spent three seasons in the Northern League as the pitching coach for the Duluth-Superior Dukes in 1999 and the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 2006. He also served as the manager of the Sioux City Explorers in 2005.

Shirley, 58, played 15 seasons of professional baseball after being drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second round of the 1974 MLB Draft. He spent time playing in the Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals and Montreal Expos organizations as well. He reached the Majors with Los Angeles in 1982, pitching in 11 games for the club.

Anton Joe is an Independent League Baseball Reporter for Baseball Essential. You can follow him on Twitter @AntonJoe_BBE.

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