Howard, Jeter To Receive Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s Legacy Awards

By Off The BASN Sports Wire
Updated: January 10, 2007

KANSAS CITY — Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard and New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter head an impressive list of 2006 Major League Baseball honorees who will receive Legacy Awards from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Howard and Jeter were named winners of the Oscar Charleston Legacy Award as the museum’s choice for Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the National League (NL) and American League (AL) respectively. Howard is also the NL recipient of the Josh Gibson Award for his league-leading 58 home runs.

The NLBM will honor Howard, Jeter and other award recipients at the Seventh Annual Legacy Awards, presented by State Farm, at 7 p.m., Saturday night at the Gem Theater in Kansas City. The event will be hosted by actor/comedian Robert Wuhl.

The Legacy Awards, established by the NLBM in 2000, annually recognizes the best Major League baseball players, managers, and executives, with awards given in the name, and spirit, of Negro Leagues legends such as Charleston, Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and the late Buck O’Neil. The awards event recognizes both on- and off-the-field achievement with baseball awards presented to both NL and AL honorees.

The NLBM named its MVP honors for Charleston because he is widely regarded by his contemporaries as the greatest baseball player ever. The late Buck O’Neil said that Charleston was “Willie Mays before there was ever a Willie Mays.”

Charleston was heralded as a complete ball player who could beat you in every facet of the game. His aggressive play drew comparisons to Ty Cobb; his batting prowess was compared to Babe Ruth, and his defensive abilities likened to Tris Speaker.

Howard was the only Major League recipient to earn multiple honors in 2006. He adds the Gibson and Charleston awards to the Larry Doby “Rookie of the Year” award he received form the NLBM for his outstanding debut season in 2005.

This season, the Phillies first baseman improved on his explosive rookie season. He hit .313 while leading the Majors with 58 home runs, 149 RBI and 383 total bases. He won this year’s Home Run Derby at the All-Star game in Pittsburgh with an electrifying display of Gibson-like power.

Jeter ranked second in the American League with a .343 batting average and 118 runs scored, fourth with a .417 on-base percentage and sixth with 34 stolen bases.

Jeter also drove in 97 runs out of the No. 2 spot in New York’s lineup. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jeter became just the fifth player in the past 75 seasons to hit .340 or higher, drive in at least 90 runs and steal 30 or more bases in the same season.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is proud to recognize the tremendous achievements of Ryan Howard, Derek Jeter and the other honorees chosen to receive Legacy Awards,” said museum Bob Kendrick, NLBM marketing director.

“By honoring Major League Baseball’s very best in the name of these legendary Negro Leaguers, we hope fans around the world gain a greater appreciation for the likes of Charleston and the other greats of the Negro Leagues.”

Don Newcombe, Director of Community Relations for the Los Angeles Dodgers, will be honored as the recipient of the Jackie Robinson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Newcombe, a star pitcher for the Negro League’s Newark Eagles, before joining Robinson with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948, became the first player in baseball history to win Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and MVP awards.

Proceeds from the Legacy Awards benefit the NLBM and its education programs.

For more information or to order tickets, call the museum at (816) 221-1920 or log on to www.nlbm.com.

2006 Legacy Award Categories and Recipients

Oscar Charleston Award-presented to the NL and AL Most Valuable Players

2006 Recipients: Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies and Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

Wilbur “Bullet” Rogan Award-presented to the NL and AL Pitchers of the Year

2006 Recipients: Brandon Webb, Arizona Diamondbacks and Johan Santana, Minnesota Twins

Josh Gibson Award-presented to the NL and AL Home Run leaders

2006 Recipients: Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies and David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox

James “Cool Papa” Bell Award-presented to the NL and AL Stolen Base leaders

2006 Recipients: Jose Reyes, New York Mets and Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Walter “Buck” Leonard Award-presented to the NL and AL Batting Champions

2006 Recipients: Freddy Sanchez, Pittsburgh Pirates and Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

Andrew “Rube” Foster Award-presented to the NL and AL Executives of the Year

2006 Recipients: Omar Minaya, New York Mets and Terry Ryan, Minnesota Twins

Charles Isham “C. I.” Taylor Award-presented to the NL and AL Managers of the Year

2006 Recipients: Willie Randolph, New York Mets and Jim Leyland, Detroit Tigers

Larry Doby Award-presented to the NL and AL Rookies of the Year

2006 Recipients: Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals and Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Hilton Smith Award-presented to the NL and AL Relievers of the Year

2006 Recipients: Trevor Hoffman, San Diego Padres and Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels

Jackie Robinson Lifetime Achievement Award-presented to an individual for Career Excellence in the Face of Adversity

2006 Recipient: Don Newcombe, Former Negro Leagues and Major League great

John “Buck” O’Neil Award-presented to a local or national corporate/private philanthropist for Outstanding Support of the NLBM

2006 Recipients: Ralph Reid, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sprint Nextel Corporation and Larry Stewart, Chairman, ServiceMark Telecom