By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Adding to their legacy
By NLBM Media Relations
Updated: January 22, 2011
KANSAS CITY — The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) has announced its choices for the 2010 Legacy Awards. Since 2000, the NLBM has presented performance awards to players and officials for the preceding Major League Baseball season named for the legendary players of Negro Leagues Baseball. The program was established to build a bridge to Negro Leagues history for modern participants of the game, while raising resources and awareness for the museum. “The museum is pleased to continue the tradition of honoring Major League Baseball’s best with awards named after the best of the Negro Leagues,” states NLBM interim President Dr. Raymond Doswell. Among the most prestigious honors is the “C.I.” Taylor Legacy Award, honoring the managers of the year in the National League and American League. Born in 1875, Taylor was a significant player, manager, and officer in the early era of Negro Leagues baseball. Dusty Baker of the Cincinnati Reds and Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers are the 2010 recipients. This is Baker’s third Legacy Award with his third team (2000 with the San Francisco Giants, 2003 with the Chicago Cubs), and Washington’s first Legacy honor. Washington’s Texas Rangers surprised the baseball world with a spirited run that lead to the American League Championship. Baker’s scrappy Cincinnati Reds finished very strong and ended a long standing drought as National League Central Division champions. Not since Jerry Manual and Baker in 2000 has the Manager of the Year award been earned by two African American managers. “These two managers arguably lead their teams to some of the best seasonal performances in 2010,” noted Dr. Doswell “You can’t help but take additional pride in knowing there cultural backgrounds. They certainly have earned the honor worthy of C.I. Taylor.” Changes to Legacy Award format/planning for 2011 Awards are typically presented annually in January at a gala held in Kansas City. However, for the 2010 season awards, the gala will go on hiatus and winners will be honored in smaller separate events at ballparks across the country and at the museum through the spring of 2011. The gala will return in early November to honor the 2011 season recipients. Legacy Awards fans, however, will have at least two opportunities to participate in special ceremonies in Kansas City. First, the museum will honor the Jackie Robinson Lifetime Achievement Legacy Award winner in ceremonies on Jackie Robinson Day, April 15. The award is named in honor of Robinson’s pioneering life’s work as a baseball player and civil rights leader. The events will include a special luncheon during the day and pre-game activities that evening during the Kansas City Royals v. Seattle Mariners game at Kauffman Stadium. Also, on July 9, the Buck O’Neil Legacy Award will be presented as part of activities for the Salute to the Negro Leagues weekend in association with the Kansas City Royals baseball team. Named for the Negro Leagues legend and long time chairman of the NLBM, the award is presented to a company or individual for their support of the museum. 2011 also marks the centennial of O’Neil’s birth, and anniversary that will be featured as part of the program. The award recipients, event times, locations, and ticket information for these two events will be announced in early February 2011. According to Dr. Doswell, “among the recommendations adopted from a focus group of sponsors and patrons of our last Legacy Awards was to shift the date to the fall. November was the date of the very first Legacy Awards in 2000.” “The positive results to be realized from this shift would be more award winner participation after the baseball season, better event day weather prospects, and avoiding sponsorship opportunity conflicts with other events on the NLBM calendar.” Doswell continued, “The change also allows the museum to take advantage of local and national promotional opportunities for branding the NLBM and the Legacy program.” “This, coupled with other exciting initiatives scheduled for 2011, will give the NLBM much needed visibility and should ensure a very successful event in the future.” Fans of the Legacy Awards should follow the museum’s web site at www.NLBM.com and Facebook page to receive announcements and news on awards presentations, media and membership events to be held across the country and in Kansas City during the spring and summer.