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05/26/09 2:30 PM EST

Marlins sending 'Trader Jack' to Draft

McKeon, who led Florida to '03 title, will be at club's table

MIAMI -- A big part of the Marlins' past will be getting an early glimpse of the team's future.

Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft is swiftly approaching, with the first round being held on June 9 in Secaucus, N.J.

Representing the Marlins at the event will be former manager, and current special assistant, Jack McKeon, who will be at the team table when the first-round pick is made.

The Marlins will have the 18th overall selection in the first round.

The cigar-chomping McKeon, now 78, remains active in the organization. Since retiring as manager after the 2005 season, he has served as a special assistant to Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.

From his home in Elon, N.C., McKeon regularly scouts Minor League prospects, and he is a sounding board for the front office whenever they ask for his input.

In 2003, at the age of 72, McKeon guided the Marlins to their second World Series championship. The affable former manager is well known for his affinity for telling baseball stories and smoking Padron cigars.

Involved in professional baseball for more than 50 years, McKeon managed the Marlins from 2003-05. In all three seasons, the club finished with winning records, the only time that's happened in franchise history.

MLB.com will offer live coverage and analysis of the entire First-Year Player Draft on June 9-11. The MLB Network will broadcast the first round at 6 p.m. ET on June 9 from its Studio 42 in Secaucus, and those 32 selections also will be simulcast live on MLB.com.

Beginning with the 33rd pick, up-to-the-minute on-air coverage from the remaining rounds will shift exclusively to MLB.com/Live, where host Vinny Micucci will be joined by MLB.com Draft expert Jonathan Mayo and Major League Scouting Bureau director Frank Marcos.

Once the first night is done, the Draft will continue with the rounds 4-30, via conference call from MLB Headquarters in New York, at noon on Wednesday, June 10. Rounds 31-50 will be on Thursday, June 11, starting at 11:30 a.m.

Along with McKeon at the Draft table in Secaucus will be Manny Colon, a respected young talent evaluator and a player development assistant.

McKeon and Colon also were on hand at the 2008 First-Year Player Draft when catcher Kyle Skipworth was taken with the fifth overall pick.

As a big league manager, McKeon posted a 1,011-940 record. Additionally, he managed 1,146 wins at the Minor League level.

McKeon also served as a general manager for the Padres in the 1980s, earning the nickname "Trader Jack" for his wheeling and dealing ways.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.