Twins Celebrate Baseball And Philanthropy
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailyThe goal of the evening is to raise dollars to be used to fund research on neurological diseases that affect one in six people in America.These diseases include ALS, Ataxia, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease.
Dick Bremer was the emcee for the event again and did a fantastic job. The first ‘bit’ of the night was a video of new Twins manager Rocco Baldelli braving the elements while singing “I did it Skyway” to the tune of the Frank Sinatra classic ‘My Way.’ He entered the room and did a quick interview with Bremer before the evening’s meal.
Jake Cave was the first to receive his Diamond Award. He received the Bill Boni Award for Twins Outstanding Rookie. One note of interest was that Jake Cave was tied for the league lead in home runs by a rookie after the All Star break. He played well, showed great power and made some web gems.
Derek Falvey was next to the stage, and he introduced the Jim Rantz Minor League Pitcher of the Year Lewis Thorpe. Bremer mentioned that Thorpe had been a color analyst for a couple of Brisbane Bandits games in the Australian Baseball League. The play-by-play guy for the Bandits this season, Erik Bremer.
Thad Levine then introduced Alex Kirilloff, the 2018 recipient of the Sherry Robertson Award for Minor League Hitter of the Year. At one point, Kirilloff pointed out that while he wants to create his own approach and style at the plate, he did watch a lot of Joe Mauer at bats “when I was a kid.”
Earlier in the day, the Twins had announced that Kyle Gibson would not be in attendance at Twins Fest this weekend due to contracting E. Coli while on a recent mission trip abroad. He had been named the Charles O. Johnson Award winner for Most Improved as well as the Mike Augustin Media Good Guy Award. He sent a message via video to the assembled crowd. He thanked everyone but pointed out also that he and his wife understand the importance of giving back to the community in the Twin Cities and hopes that he will be able to continue to do that for years to come.
Max Kepler was awarded the Jim Kaat Award for Twins Defensive Player of the Year. He certainly deserved that honor. Bremer asked him to say something to the crowd in German, so he did. When he translated what he had said to the crowd, he said he was looking forward to the season and that the Twins should have a good, above-average upcoming season.
Jose Berrios was brought up to the stage twice. The first time, he was handed the Carl R. Pohlad Award for Community Service. Jim Pohlad introduced him and raved about how he (and Eddie Rosario) are beloved in Puerto Rico, and even more so after having the opportunity to see them in action on the island. But he also talked about how much he does in the season too.
Berrios also was awarded the Joseph W Haynes award for Twins Pitcher of the Year. He made his first all-star team in 2018 and the hope is that he will make many more. He talked with so much pride about his country and his family and being proud to be in the Twins organization. He hopes to keep getting better.
Eddie Rosario was named the Calvin R. Griffith Award winner as the team’s Most Valuable Player. He was the easy choice after another strong season. The hope is clearly that he takes another leap in 2019 and reaches that All Star game.
With two exceptions, which we will get to at the end, those were the 2018 Awards. There were a few other awards handed out too.
Paul Karst is a Vietnam veteran and he has coached baseball at various levels for well over 40 years. He was the recipient of the Play Ball! Minnesota Terry Ryan Award for Friend of the Game.
One of the highlights of the night came after LaTroy Hawkins introduced Corey Koskie as the winner of the Kirby Puckett Alumni Community Service winner. Koskie provided a speech for the crowd that was remarkably inspirational and encouraging, letting everyone in attendance know that they can help a person they don’t even know through doing little things. (Following the event, I chatted with Koskie for quite some time, and then Nick joined us. It was tremendous and eye opening as Koskie really has a goal and a hope to help change the world for the better. I would certainly encourage everyone to head to his Linklete site for some great content. Bookmark it and check back frequently.
Tom Kelly introduced Jack Morris as the Herb Carneal Lifetime Achievement Award winner as well.
The final awards of the evening were presented to Joe Mauer. He was named the Bob Allison Award for Twins Leadership and the Dick Siebert Upper Midwest Player of the Year. It was the sixth time he had been awarded the Siebert Award. Mauer joked that he was under the weather because his five-year-old girls brought something home from school besides art work. He has been playing some early-morning basketball. He said he did play catch a couple of weeks ago. Well, here is the Mauer portion, including a bunch of Cretin-Derham Hall kids signing the school song. You can watch the Joe Mauer section below in the twitter link.
Overall, it was a tremendous night at The Depot. Twins Fest runs this weekend at Target Field. I’m told there are still some tickets remaining. The Twins Daily Winter Meltdown will be on Saturday night.
- Yoke, nclahammer and whatyouknowtwinsfan like this