Killebrew Award Winner: Logan Darnell (Rochester)
Image courtesy of Rochester Red Wings (Darnell wearing the jersey that he designed an ordered for Alzheimer's Awareness Night)2016 marked the third straight season in which LHP Logan Darnell received the Killebrew Award. That isn’t to say that he hasn’t had teammates who were active in the community. It is a great indicator of the type of person that Logan Darnell is.
Red Wings general manager Dan Mason recently told Twins Daily, “Once again this year we were very fortunate to have some outstanding baseball players represent the Twins and the Red Wings, but we also had some outstanding human beings. We had many players represent us in the community at a variety of functions, but none did as many appearances for us than Logan Darnell.”
Of receiving the Killebrew Award again, Darnell said, “It means a lot! I’ve met a lot of great people in Rochester and made good friends over the past years.”
Darnell stayed active in the community throughout the entire season. In fact, for much longer than that. Mason added, “In his four seasons with the Red Wings, he has done an amazing job interacting with fans here at the ballpark and throughout the Rochester area. He has really embraced Rochester as his second home and has given back so much of his time and energy to help make Rochester a better place to live, work and play.”
Darnell’s big event the last two seasons has been Darnell's Alzheimer’s Night in Rochester. Proceeds from the event go to the Alzheimer’s Association of Rochester. It's a very special cause for Darnell as his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Darnell reached into his own pockets and designed jerseys for the Red Wings to wear in a game. The jerseys were then auctioned and given away following the game. The Twins were big supporters as well with several players sending autographed items.
2015 was the first year of the event. It was a big success, so he took it to another level in 2016. According to Mason, “This year he stepped up to the plate again. He sponsored and designed the jersey and stirrups that the players wore and then auctioned off during the game. Proceeds benefited the Alzheimer's Association, Rochester and Finger Lakes Region.”
Darnell added, “The Alzheimer’s Association in Rochester is very dear to me. All the people there working for the association are great and are doing an amazing job in the community. I'm lucky to know them and help. Having a mother sick with the disease really drives me to help and do everything I can to help because I understand the struggle. We raised close to $28.000 the last two years with events the Red Wings helped sponsor, and my teammates which makes me forever thankful.”
He didn’t just plan and participate in one event. Mason said Darnell remained busy during most home stands. “He also arranged for a celebrity bartenders night at a local restaurant and over half the team and coaching staff were there to help raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association. He headed up a golf tourney allowing fans the opportunity to Swing with the Wings to benefit the same organization. In addition to all his work raising money for the Alzheimer's Association, he made numerous appearances at schools, hospitals, sponsors, youth baseball clinics, and he participated in the City of Rochester Clean Sweep in which residents spend a morning picking up debris and beautifying Rochester.”
Darnell mentioned a few of the other events, and again credited leadership within the organization for what they do and how they encourage community involvement. “We did a golf event, jersey night, bar tending event, and we helped out with whatever the association needed. That with so many other great places that the team was involved with. The Wings are so great in the community. And it starts with (Red Wings GM) Dan Mason and Naomi (Silver)! They are awesome. Not to mention the guys are awesome.”
Darnell ended the season on the disabled list with a shoulder issue. He was not on the 40-man roster all season. He can become a minor league free agent at the end of the World Series. Wherever he winds up, his work will continue.
“The battle isn't won, and it's something I will always try and help until a cure is found.”
Mason summarizes Darnell’s work, his caring attitude and his award by saying the following. “Logan Darnell is the kind of gentleman that Harmon Killebrew would be proud to have win his award.”