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PRESS BOX

NLBM Honors Baseball’s Best for 2007

01/14/2008 4:53 PM -

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum honored the best in Major League Baseball for 2007 Saturday night at the Gem Theater in the 18th and Vine district in Kansas City, Missouri.

Minnie Minoso, former Negro League and Major League great, was honored with this year’s Jackie Robinson Lifetime Achievement Award for career excellence in the Face of Adversity.  The Cuban native spoke about how great America is and how fortunate he was to be able to play in both the Negro Leagues and the Major Leagues.  Minoso left Cuba in search of the “American Dream” and joined the New York Cubans of the Negro Leagues where he played for three seasons leading the Cubans to a Negro Leagues Championship in 1947.  In 1949 he was signed by the Cleveland Indians to a Major League contract before being traded to the White Sox, where he became the first black player in franchise history.

“When Jackie broke the color barrier, it gave us all hope,” said Minoso in a statement.  “He opened the door for everybody.  Today’s African-American and Latin-American baseball players are fortunate to follow in the footsteps of those who came before them.”

Others honored in attendance included:
C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland Indians - American League Pitcher of the Year
Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers – National League Home Run Leader
Bob Melvin, Arizona Diamondbacks – National League Manager of the Year
Eric Wedge, Cleveland Indians – American League Manager of the Year
Jimmie Lee Solomon, Major League Baseball – Baseball and Community Leadership

Others honored who will be presented with their award either at their parks on opening day or on their next visit to Kansas City:

Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies – National League MVP
Alex Rodrigues, New York Yankees – American League MVP and Home Run Leader
Jake Peavy, San Diego Padres – National League Pitcher of the Year
Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies – National League Batting Champion
Magglio Ordonez, Detroit Tigers – American League Batting Champion
Jose Reyes, New York Mets – National League Stolen Base Leader
Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Devil Rays – American League Stolen Base Leader
Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles – American League Stolen Base Leader
Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies – National League Rookie of the Year
Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox – American League Rookie of the Year
Jose Valverde, Arizona Diamondbacks – National League Reliever of the Year
Joe Borowski, Cleveland Indians – American League Reliever of the Year
Dan O’Dowd, Colorado Rockies – Executive of the Year
Mark Shapiro, Cleveland Indians – Executive of the Year.

The late Larry Whiteside, formerly of the Kansas City Kansan and Boston Globe, was also honored with the Sam Lacy Award for Baseball Writer of the Year. 
The event was hosted for the second consecutive year by actor/comedian Robert Wuhl from the HBO hit show Arliss.  The presenters included former Kansas City Royal Willie Wilson, 1993 World Series hero Joe Carter, Kansas City Chief Eddie Kennison, MLB.com’s Harold Reynolds, and former Cy Young winner Jim “Mudcat” Grant.

The ceremony closed with a musical performance by “After 7.”