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Branch Rickey Award

The Branch Rickey Award was given annually to an individual in Major League Baseball (MLB) in recognition of his exceptional community service from 1992 to 2014. The award was named in honor of former player and executive Branch Rickey, who broke the major league color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, while president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Rickey also created the Knothole Gang, a charity that allowed children to attend MLB games.[1]

Branch Rickey Award
A black-and-white photograph of a man in a suit
Branch Rickey, the namesake of the award
LocationDenver, Colorado
CountryUnited States
Presented byRotary Club of Denver
History
First award1992
Most recentAnthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
WebsiteThe Branch Rickey Award

The award, created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 1991, was first awarded to Dave Winfield in 1992 at their annual banquet.[1][2] Each MLB team nominates one individual who best exemplifies the Rotary Club motto: "Service Above Self".[3][4] A vote is then conducted by the national selection committee, which consists of members of the sports media, previous winners of the award, and Rotary district governors in major league cities.[5] Proceeds of the banquet benefit Denver Kids, Inc., a charity for at-risk students who attend Denver Public Schools.[1] Each winner receives a bronze sculpture of a baseball player measuring 24 inches (610 mm), named "The Player", designed by sculptor George Lundeen. A larger version of "The Player", standing 13 feet (4.0 m) tall, was erected at Coors Field in Denver.[2]

Winners of the Branch Rickey Award have undertaken different causes. Many winners, including Todd Stottlemyre,[6] Jamie Moyer,[7] John Smoltz,[8] Torii Hunter,[9] Vernon Wells,[10] and Shane Victorino,[11] worked with children in need. Stottlemyre visited and raised money for a nine-year-old girl who suffered from aplastic anemia and required a bone marrow transplant,[6] while Moyer's foundation raised US$6 million to support underprivileged children.[7] Other winners devoted their work to aiding individuals who had a specific illness, such as Curt Schilling, who raised money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,[12] and Trevor Hoffman, who lost a kidney as an infant and devoted himself to working with individuals with nephropathy.[2] Also, some winners devoted themselves to work with major disasters and tragedies. Bobby Valentine donated money to charities benefiting victims of the September 11 attacks,[13] while Luis Gonzalez worked with survivors of Hurricane Katrina.[14]

Previous winnersEdit

 
Bobby Valentine won the award in 2002 in recognition of his charitable work for the survivors of the September 11 attacks.[13]
 
The Moyer Foundation, founded by Jamie Moyer and his wife, supports underprivileged children.[7]
Key
  Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
  Denotes player who is still active
Year Recipient Team Position Ref
1992 Dave Winfield  Toronto Blue Jays Outfielder [15][16]
1993 Kirby Puckett  Minnesota Twins Outfielder [4][17]
1994 Ozzie Smith  St. Louis Cardinals Shortstop [18][19]
1995 Tony Gwynn  San Diego Padres Outfielder [20][21]
1996 Brett Butler Los Angeles Dodgers Outfielder [22][23]
1997 Craig Biggio  Houston Astros Second baseman [24][25]
1998 Paul Molitor  Minnesota Twins Designated hitter [26][27]
1999 Al Leiter New York Mets Pitcher [28][29]
2000 Todd Stottlemyre Arizona Diamondbacks Pitcher [6][30]
2001 Curt Schilling Arizona Diamondbacks Pitcher [12][31]
2002 Bobby Valentine New York Mets Manager [13][32]
2003 Roland Hemond Chicago White Sox General manager [1]
2004 Jamie Moyer Seattle Mariners Pitcher [7][33]
2005 Luis Gonzalez Arizona Diamondbacks Outfielder [14][34]
2006 Tommy Lasorda  Los Angeles Dodgers Senior vice president [35][36]
2007 John Smoltz  Atlanta Braves Pitcher [8][37]
2008 Trevor Hoffman  San Diego Padres Pitcher [2][38]
2009 Torii Hunter Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Outfielder [9][39]
2010 Vernon Wells  Toronto Blue Jays Outfielder [10][40]
2011 Shane Victorino  Philadelphia Phillies Outfielder [11][41]
2012 R. A. Dickey  New York Mets Pitcher [5][42]
2013 Clayton Kershaw  Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher [43]
2014 Anthony Rizzo  Chicago Cubs First baseman [44]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

General

  • "Hank Aaron Award & Branch Rickey Award Winners". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 13, 2012.

Specific

  1. ^ a b c d "Roland Hemond to receive 2003 Branch Rickey Award" (Press release). Major League Baseball Advanced Media. November 7, 2003. Archived from the original on February 10, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Trevor Hoffman selected as 2008 Branch Rickey Award recipient" (Press release). Major League Baseball Advanced Media. October 2, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  3. ^ "Winfield first Rickey Award recipient". Ludington Daily News. Associated Press. October 29, 1992. p. 14. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Puckett Honored For Community Service". The Charlotte Observer. November 24, 1993. p. 2B. Retrieved August 13, 2012. (subscription required)
  5. ^ a b Saunders, Patrick (September 13, 2012). "Mets ace knuckleballer R.A. Dickey wins Branch Rickey Award". The Denver Post. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Etkin, Jack (November 17, 2000). "Stottlemyre Worked Through Pain: Rickey Award Winner Was a Real Friend To Sick 9-Year-Old Girl". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved August 13, 2012. (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b c d Street, Jim (November 2, 2004). "Moyer wins Branch Rickey Award". MLB.com. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Smoltz wins Branch Rickey Award". ESPN.com. September 25, 2007. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  9. ^ a b Stapleton, Arnie (October 9, 2009). "Angels' Torii Hunter wins Branch Rickey Award". Reading Eagle. Associated Press. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Vernon Wells wins 2010 Branch Rickey Award for working with kids". ESPN.com. September 16, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Shane Victorino of Philadelphia Phillies wins Branch Rickey Award for work with kids". ESPN.com. September 15, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Schilling picks up Branch Rickey Award for ALS work". Associated Press Archive. November 17, 2001. Retrieved August 13, 2012. (subscription required)
  13. ^ a b c Singer, Tom (November 14, 2002). "Valentine recipient of Rickey Award". MLB.com. Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  14. ^ a b Harding, Thomas (November 12, 2005). "Gonzalez nabs Branch Rickey Award". MLB.com. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  15. ^ "New Rickey award to Dave Winfield". The Afro-American. October 24, 1992. p. A7. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  16. ^ "Dave Winfield Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  17. ^ "Kirby Puckett Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  18. ^ Ringolsby, Tracy (December 7, 1994). "Cardinals' Ozzie Smith To Receive Rickey Award". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved August 13, 2012. (subscription required)
  19. ^ "Ozzie Smith Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  20. ^ Jenkins, Chris (December 7, 1995). "Gwynn gets Branch Rickey Award". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved August 13, 2012. (subscription required)
  21. ^ "Tony Gwynn Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  22. ^ Crasnick, Jerry (January 15, 1997). "Rotary honors Butler tonight". Denver Post. p. D-09. Retrieved August 13, 2012. (subscription required)
  23. ^ "Brett Butler Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  24. ^ "Biggio To Be Honored With Rickey Award". Rocky Mountain News. October 24, 1997. Retrieved August 13, 2012. (subscription required)
  25. ^ "Craig Biggio Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  26. ^ "Twins' Molitor Next Recipient of Branch Rickey Award". Rocky Mountain News. September 16, 1998. Retrieved August 13, 2012. (subscription required)
  27. ^ "Paul Molitor Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  28. ^ Miller, Patricia A. (October 15, 1999). "Hometown hero Al Leiter honored for service". Asbury Park Press. p. A.1. Retrieved August 13, 2012. (subscription required)
  29. ^ "Al Leiter Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  30. ^ "Todd Stottlemyre Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  31. ^ "Curt Schilling Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  32. ^ "Bobby Valentine Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  33. ^ "Jamie Moyer Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  34. ^ "Luis Gonzalez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  35. ^ "Tommy Lasorda to receive Branch Rickey Award" (Press release). Major League Baseball Advanced Media. May 16, 2006. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  36. ^ "Tom Lasorda Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  37. ^ "John Smoltz Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  38. ^ "Trevor Hoffman Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  39. ^ "Torii Hunter Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  40. ^ "Vernon Wells Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  41. ^ "Shane Victorino Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  42. ^ "R.A. Dickey Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  43. ^ Harding, Thomas (2013-09-05). "Philanthropic Kershaw honored with Rickey Award". mlb.com. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  44. ^ "Rizzo youngest to win Branch Rickey Award". mlb.com. Archived from the original on September 21, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014.