McKeon to represent Marlins at Draft
2003 World Series champs' manager to announce picks
MIAMI -- In all likelihood, the Marlins will light up a cigar to toast their first-round pick at the upcoming First-Year Player Draft.
With that being the case, there is no better representative than Jack McKeon to be sitting at the table when the sixth overall pick is announced next month in Orlando.
The cigar-chomping former Marlins manager currently is a special advisor to Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. At age 72, he guided the club to the 2003 World Series championship. He is well known for his affinity for telling baseball stories and smoking Padron cigars.
Now 77, McKeon managed the Marlins from 2003-05, when the team enjoyed its only run of three straight winning seasons. The most memorable campaign, of course, was the magical '03 run.
MLB.com will carry every pick of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, which takes place June 5-6 at The Milk House at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. Day 1 coverage on BaseballChannel.TV begins at 1 p.m. ET with a special ceremonial Draft of former Negro Leaguers who will be on hand at The Milk House.
The First-Year Player Draft follows at 2 p.m. with a simulcast of ESPN2's broadcast of the first round and compensation picks. The remaining rounds of Day 1 will be shown exclusively on BaseballChannel.TV, with live analysis on site from MLB.com Draft guru Jonathan Mayo and David Rawnsley of Perfect Game USA.
Several of the top amateur prospects are expected to be in attendance in Orlando for Day 1 of the Draft, and each of the 30 Major League clubs will be represented by front office executives and baseball luminaries. Fans are welcome to attend Day 1 of the Draft, and admission to The Milk House is free with seating limited to a first-come, first-served basis.
Day 2 will get under way at 11:30 a.m. and continue through Round 50, if necessary. Every pick on Day 2 can be heard live at MLB.com.
McKeon replaced Jeff Torborg as manager on May 11, 2003, and the Marlins eventually rallied back from 10 games under .500 to claim the National League Wild Card, before stunning the sport by tripping up the Yankees in the World Series.
McKeon has served as an advisor since he retired after the 2005 season.
Joining McKeon at the Draft table in Orlando will be Manny Colon, a rising personnel-evaluating talent and a player development assistant.
At the 2007 Draft, Colon was at the table when the Marlins were represented by Andre Dawson, a special assistant in the organization.
McKeon has more than 50 years of professional baseball experience. As a big league manager, he sported a 1,011-940 record. He also managed 1,146 wins at the Minor League level.
In his lengthy career, he developed the nickname "Trader Jack" for his willingness to wheel and deal as the general manager of the Padres in the 1980s.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.