The Bowtie Perspective By: Hunter Ives January 24, 2019 - The Independent-Journal: Sports

The Bowtie Perspective By: Hunter Ives January 24, 2019

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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 11:03 am

A Frigid Night in the Lou…

“Rookies to Legends” Honored Sunday Night

At the 61st Annual St. Louis BBWA Dinner

Established in 1908, the Baseball Writers Association kicked off the Annual St. Louis Dinner on Sun., January 20th. This was the 61st year in a row that the Association has held such an event. STL’s evening of recognition and honor, is only 1 of 3 in the United States. The theme of the night was “From Rookies to Legends.” Some notable names in attendance included Rookie Manager Mike Shildt, new Hall of Fame inductee Lee Smith, and Ozzie Smith. (Just to name a few.)

The local BBWA Chapter helps with the Rick Hummel Internship. All of the money spent during the evening, drives the scholarships. The ultimate idea as noted, is to “give the next wave of sportswriters a chance.”

The Joe Strauss memory, was explained by Jenifer Langosch. Alexis Strauss was invited on stage to emphasize the importance of helping others, along with testing to see if an individual is a match for blood cancer patients. She explained Leukemia, and her father’s legacy. A standing ovation of honor broke out for the late Joe Strauss.

Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post Dispatch presented the winner of the “Good Guy Award”; Kyle McClellan, a STL Native. Kyle credited Adam Wainwright as an individual who does more than just baseball. McClellan and company have furnished water and various necessities to those who are hurting in Haiti.

Next, the 2018 St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year were announced.

Player: Tyler O’Neill

Pitcher: Dakota Hudson (13 wins in first 19 appearances.)

Steve Gietschier then presented the John E. Wray/ Myron Holtzman Award to Nicole Hensley, Steve Cash, and Josh Paul. Each of the three have experienced traumatic injuries and the overcoming of obstacles in life. There was a brief interview with the group of Olympians on stage.

Derrick Goold approached the stage yet again, to present the “Branch Rickey” Award Winners. Rickey (the name behind the award), ultimately started what is today’s farm system. The Branch Rickey Award Winners included Vera Clemente and the Roberto Clemente Family, and Sharon and Rachel Robinson and the Robinson Family. Those who are considered for such an award, include individuals who go above and beyond; “what it means to be more than a ballplayer.”

It was noted during the dinner, that St. Louis Baseball Players have received the most Roberto Clemente Awards.

Mark Saxon of the Athletic, then announced the winner of the J. Roy Stockton/Bob Broeg Award. Lee Smith. “Big Lee.”

Lee Smith enlightened the crowd by sharing some personal advice and pre-game preparation. Smith told those in attendance that his preparation included “Sleep. Relax myself; there was nothing better than waking up with a 3-run lead. The grounds crew would have to wake me up in the 7th inning.”

Miles Mikolas then received the Darryl Kyle Award, presented by Joe Ostermeier. After the conclusion, Ben Frederickson presented Stubby Clapp with an Outstanding Player Award. The promotion to first base coach at the big league level, was reiterated.

Keith Hernandez (who was unable to attend due to an injury), delivered a heartfelt message via a submitted video on the big screen. A back injury prevented the Cardinal Legend from beckoning the door of the event.

The President of Baseball Operations, John Mozeliak discussed the new opportunities in 2019, including the subject of new offseason additions. Ben Frederickson highlighted some “spectacular rookies.” Harrison Bader, Jordan Hicks, Yairo Muñoz, Mike Shildt, and Jack Flaherty— Cardinals Co-Rookies of the Year.

Ricky Horton interviewed the 5 rookies on stage, as Yairo Muñoz brought along a live translator. They closed things out by allowing each rookie to describe one another, using one adjective. Needless to say, it was quite interesting.

Jenifer Langosch was next, to recognize Mike Shildt and his rookie contributions at the Managerial Position. Mike proclaimed that “the group of players were who helped turn things around.” Pertaining to his ball club, Mike said that he “loves this ball club.” He then stated that he recently had dinner with Paul Goldschmidt and his wife. Shildt went on to say that “We appreciate Yadi for standing up for our city.” On stage, the ideas of pitching depth were discussed.

Shildt emphasized that he is “socially challenged”, as he doesn’t “get out much.” The crowd  erupted with laughter.

The Dinner was wrapped up with a PGA Tour review and discussion. Two overall final awards were presented. The central thread of the dinner, was a subject of “Rookies and Legends.”

In near conclusion, Derrick Goold thanked everyone for coming out to the event. (Including the Chapter of BBWA.)

Miles Mikolas and his phenomenal efforts were honored. As well as Matt Carpenter and his superior showing in 2018.

The 61st Annual Baseball Writers Association Dinner in St. Louis was a pleasure to attend. The new and the old were honored. It was an evening of special recognition. As well as putting into perspective the rich appreciation and history of St. Louis Cardinals Baseball.

See photos of the event on page 7A, in this week’s issue of the “I-J.”


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