2018 Killebrew Award Winner - Jake Reed (Rochester Red Wings)
Image courtesy of Butch Dill, USA TodayThe 2018 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service recipient for the Rochester Red Wings is right-handed relief pitcher Jake Reed.
On the field, it was a real solid season for the hard-throwing right-hander. His overall numbers were terrific. He posted a 1.89 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP. In 47 2/3 innings, he walked 21, but he struck out 50 batters. He missed some time early in the season, but since June 1, he was tremendous. Over the season’s final three months, his ERA was just 1.43 and opponents hit just .167 off of him.
It is difficult to understand why he did not receive a September call up based on his statistical line, especially late in the season.
As impressive as he was on the mound for the Red Wings, he made a strong impression in the Rochester community as well.
Red Wings General Manager Dan Mason nominated Reed saying, “Jake has been a phenomenal representative for the Red Wings and the Twins in our community this season volunteering at a variety of both corporate partner events as well as community events.”
The list of activities that Reed helped with in the community was quite lengthy. Mason continued, “Some of the community events he participated in include: delivering meals with Meals on Wheels. Speaking engagement for Rochester Regional Hospital, Foodlink Summer kickoff, USSSA clinic, School of the Holy Childhood ( for mentally challenged kids) clinic, Challenger Baseball World Series here at Frontier Field, Red Wings Baseball camp, and another Challenger baseball camp. ”
Reed truly appreciated the opportunities he had to work in and for the community thanks to the Red Wings. He said, “The Red Wings have been one of the best organizations I have ever seen as far as the opportunities they give us players to get out into the community and serve. We have done everything from visiting hospitals and running baseball camps, to delivering meals to less fortunate families and working alongside the Challenger baseball league in Rochester, which has been my favorite.”
But, according to Mason, Reed went above and beyond the team-sponsored activities. “On his own time, without anyone in our office asking him, Jake visited a Challenger baseball field on his own on a Saturday morning in June. He also can often be seen before games chatting with fans and signing autographs, doing his best to provide lifelong memories for our fans. He truly understands his responsibilities as a professional baseball player on and off the field.”
Reed deserved a September call up because of his work on the field for the Red Wings in 2018. However, he fully understands his role in society and the opportunities and the platform he’s been given and chooses to use it for good. He noted recently that he really appreciates receiving the honor and having his name associated with someone like Harmon Killebrew.
He said, “This award actually means a lot. I will be honest. Not getting the call at the end of the season was disappointing. But getting this reward definitely reminded me of why God actually has me playing this game. It’s not about baseball. It really isn’t. It’s about loving and serving the people that you come into contact with, and the great thing about baseball is it gives us players plenty of opportunity to do so. I think men like Harmon Killebrew have set the example for us as far as what it looks like to be more than a baseball player.”
Reed joined Episode 7 of Seth’s Twins On Deck Podcastlast offseason to talk about the work he’s done on the field, but also to discuss his faith as it is a very important an instrumental part of his life.
Previous Red Wings Killebrew Award winners:
2011 - Kyle Gibson
2012 - JR Towles
2013 - Brian Dinkelman
2014 - Logan Darnell
2015 - Logan Darnell
2016 - Logan Darnell
2017 - DJ Baxendale
2018 - Jake Reed
Congratulations to Jake Reed on earning the Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Rochester Red Wings. Over the coming days, we will share the stories of the Killebrew Award winners for the Chattanooga Lookouts, Ft. Myers Miracle and Cedar Rapids Kernels (in which there is an interesting tie to Killebrew himself).
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