2019 Killebrew Award Winner - Brian Rapp (Cedar Rapids Kernels)
Image courtesy of Steve Buhr (photo of Brian Rapp)The 2019 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service recipient for the Cedar Rapids Kernels is right-handed relief pitcher Brian Rapp.
Rapp was the Twins 26th-round pick in 2018 out of Boston College where he pitched for four seasons. He pitched in Elizabethton the remainder of 2018. He spent the entire 2019 season pitching mostly out of the bullpen for the Kernels. He went 5-1 in 33 games and 65 2/3 innings.
So no… On the field there are not a lot of similarities between the slugging Killebrew and pitching Rapp, but off the field they both value serving the communities in which they live.
Rapp said, “I really enjoyed my time being in the Cedar Rapids community. We were so blessed to have some amazing fans and people welcome us not only to their homes but the city in general.”
Aron Brecht works for the Kernels. One of his responsibilities is working with organizations in the community and scheduling players to participate in a variety of events. He appreciated all that Rapp did throughout the season.
Brecht said, “Brian was the choice for the Harmon Killebrew Award because of his involvement in almost all of the 41 player appearances the Cedar Rapids Kernels scheduled this year. It wasn’t only his presence that won the award for him, but his engagement with folks of all ages.”
Rapp worked with young kids through some school programs but also throughout the summer. He noted, “I went to reading programs we had set up with local elementary schools to read and act out books. Also met with other kids throughout summer to speak and just hang out, there were events to feed veterans and lastly a program called “Catch with a Cop.”
Brecht found Rapp’s work with the Catch with a Cop most notable.
“His work with kids and law enforcement officers during the Kernels five ‘Catch with a Cop’ programs – which has local at-risk children team up with local law enforcement to establish a positive and engaging relationship during a game of catch. Sometimes, the kids could be a little wary about warming up to the officers, and Brian regularly acted as the liaison between them by starting not only conversations and games of catch, but whiffle ball games and home run derbies, too.”
The players who are really good at these community service opportunities are the ones who really enjoy the opportunity to be a role model.
Rapp noted, “We had such great times. I really enjoy teaching young kids and being able to talk with them and get to know what’s going on in their lives because I was that kid when I was younger. I always looked up to older kids, especially athletes. When it came to professionals, I looked up and always aspired to work hard to get there myself one day and a lot of their messages stuck with me and helped drive me forward always. So in turn I try to always do the same.”
Paying it forward, if you will. It is what makes Rapp appreciative of his opportunities, and it is what made Rapp the clear choice as the Kernels 2019 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service Recipient.
Brecht concludes, “His fun personality was infectious and his attitude was incredible throughout the whole season and the Kernels thank him, and are proud to recognize him, for all of his work in the Cedar Rapids community.”
Previous Twins Low-A Killebrew Award winners:
2011 - Ryan O’Rourke
2012 - Corey Williams
2013 - Niko Goodrum
2014 - Tanner Vavra
2015 - Jared Wilson
2016 - Nelson Molina
2017 - Hector Lujan
2018 - David Banuelos
Other 2019 Killebrew Award Recipients
Rochester Red Wings - Coming Soon
Chattanooga Lookouts - Coming Soon
Fort Myers Miracle - Coming Soon
Cedar Rapids Kernels - Brian Rapp
Congratulations to Brian Rapp on earning the 2019 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
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