Portland, ME - The Eastern League of Professional Baseball is pleased to announce that Trenton Thunder manager Tony Franklin has been chosen as the 2012 Eastern League Manager of the Year. Led by Franklin, who is in his sixth season as the Trenton manager, the Thunder have already clinched a postseason berth and are in first place in the Eastern Division with a record of 77-60. It marks the fourth time in the past six seasons that Tony has led the Thunder to a playoff berth, including winning back-to-back Eastern League Championships in 2007 and 2008. Franklin earned his 1,000th career regular season victory early this season on June 2nd and has a career record of 1047-952 in 17 seasons as a manager, including a record of 466-377 with Trenton. Tony is joined on his coaching staff with the Thunder this season by pitching coach Tommy Phelps, hitting coach Tom Slater, coach Luis Dorante, athletic trainer Scott DiFrancesco and strength and conditioning coach Kaz Manabe.
Franklin began his managerial career with the White Sox organization as the manager of Geneva in the New York-Penn League in 1982. He spent four seasons with Geneva and one season as the skipper of Wytherville of the Appalachian League before moving on to the Sarasota White Sox of the Florida State League in 1989. Franklin moved up to the Southern League to manage the Birmingham Barons in 1991 and 1992 before winning his first career championship in his lone season with South Bend in the Midwest League in 1993. Prior to becoming the manager in Trenton, Franklin spent most of the last 11 years as the Minor League Infield Instructor for the San Diego Padres. He also filled in as the manager with Las Vegas for part of the 2000 season.
Akron manager Chris Tremie finished second in the voting for the Manager of the Year Award and New Britain skipper Jeff Smith finished in third place in the voting. The award was voted on by respective Eastern League managers and media members.