Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher will be honored at this year’s Thurman Munson Awards dinner, acknowledging excellence in competition and philanthropic work within the community.
Swisher was announced on Tuesday as part of a group of five sports personalities who will be presented with the Thurman Munson Award on Feb. 1 at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York, celebrating the 31st anniversary of the event.
Also to be honored are former All-Star catcher Mike Piazza, current Mets outfielder Angel Pagan, Nets all-star guard Devin Harris and Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater Evan Lysacek.
The AHRC New York City Foundation benefits from the gala, which remembers Munson, the late, great Yankees catcher and captain who tragically perished in a 1979 plane crash.
Diana Munson, Thurman’s widow, has been involved in the benefit since its inception, raising nearly $10 million to assist children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Of Swisher, Diana Munson said: “I love the way he plays, I love his enthusiasm. Most importantly, he respects the history of baseball and the Yankees. On Old Timers’ Day, he was out there getting autographs and taking pictures. He’s not embarrassed by his love of the game, and respects the players. Plus, he’s cute.”
The AHRC New York City Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports programs enabling children and adults with developmental disabilities to lead richer, more productive lives, including programs of AHRC New York City.
For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner, contact (212) 249-6188.
Some assorted notes from Yankee Stadium for this afternoon’s 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Kansas City Royals:
MAN ON A MISSION: 3B Alex Rodriguez hit his 599th career HR in Thursday’s win vs. Kansas City, and with his next home run will become the seventh player all time to reach the 600-homer plateau…will become the second player to reach the mark as a Yankee, joining Babe Ruth.
? Hit his first career HR (off Tom Gordon, 6/12/95), his 499th HR (off Gil Meche, 7/25/07) and 500th HR (off Kyle Davies, 8/4/07) against the Royals…is 3-for-4 with 1 HR – No. 500 – in his career against today’s starter RHP Kyle Davies…according to SABR’s David Vincent, no pitcher has given up multiple milestones of either a 500th, 600th or 700th homer…only two teams have allowed both a 500th and 600th HR – San Diego (Eddie Murray’s 500th and Willie Mays’ 600th) and Pittsburgh (Mike Schmidt’s 500th and Barry Bonds’ 600th).
UNDER THE SUN: The Yankees are 24-12 (.667) in day games this season, tying Chicago-AL for the second-best winning percentage in day contests this season…only Detroit (25) has more daytime wins in 2010…the Royals (.298) and the Yankees (.290) have the two highest batting averages in day games this season…the Yankees have hit 50HR (third most in the Majors) in 36 day contests.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: 2B Robinson Cano (67R, 66RBI) and 1B Mark Teixeira (71R, 66RBI) are one of two sets teammates in the Majors this season to each record at least 60R and 60RBI (also Texas’ Josh Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero)…along with 3B Alex Rodriguez (50R, 78RBI) and RF Nick Swisher (61R, 56RBI), the Yankees are the only team to boast four players each with at least 50R and 50RBI in 2010.
Derek Jeter DH, Curtis Granderson CF, Mark Teixeira 1B, Alex Rodriguez 3B, Robinson Cano 2B, Jorge Posada C, Marcus Thames RF, Colin Curtis LF, Ramiro Pena SS
RHP Sergio Mitre (0-1, 2.88)
Scott Podsednik LF, Jason Kendall C, Billy Butler 1B, Jose Guillen RF, Alex Gordon DH, Wilson Betemit 3B, Rick Ankiel CF, Yuniesky Betancourt SS, Chris Getz 2B
RHP Kyle Davies (4-6, 5.45)
With Robinson Cano looking on, Nick Swisher will be taking aim at the outfield walls of Angel Stadium on Monday night.
From Major League Baseball:
Major League Baseball announced today that All-Star outfielders Chris Young of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Nick Swisher of the New York Yankees have committed to participating in the 2010 State Farm Home Run Derby on Monday, July 12th at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. This will be the first career Derbys for Young (.263, 15 HR, 60 RBI) and Swisher (.304, 14 HR, 48 RBI), both of whom are first-time All-Stars.
Here’s Swish: “I have to do it like I do everything – just live in the moment,” Swisher said. “Why not just have a blast with it? It’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m nervous already, but I’m going to go out and have an absolute blast. I’m going to soak up that moment.”
Strangely, as our buddy Jordan Bastian tweets from north of the border, MLB home run leader Jose Bautista wasn’t even asked
to take part in the competition.
The last Final Vote ballots have been counted, and they all add up to one thing — Nick Swisher is an American League All-Star for the first time in his career.
Here’s the official press release:
Nick Swisher of the New York Yankees and Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds were chosen by fans as the winners of the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint in online balloting voting exclusively on MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, and the individual Club sites.
On the American League ballot, Swisher held off Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox in the closest race in the nine-year history of the All-Star Final Vote to claim the final spot on the All-Star roster with a final tally of 9.8 million votes. Swisher and Youkilis were followed by Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox; Michael Young of the Texas Rangers; and Delmon Young of the Minnesota Twins.
The National League winner, Votto, led all vote-getters with 13.7 million en route to becoming the first Reds player to win the All-Star Final Vote. He was followed by Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals; Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies; and Billy Wagner of the Atlanta Braves. San Diego Padres pitcher Heath Bell was removed from the NL ballot after he was named to the All-Star Team as a replacement for Yovani Gallardo of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Baseball fans and Clubs alike feverishly supported the 10 candidates named by All-Star managers Joe Girardi and Charlie Manuel during the four days of balloting, particularly through their use of MLB.com’s All-Star Campaign Manager program, in which nearly 150,000 fans participated and tallied points for their favorite players, and by forming joint alliances, such as Reds-Red Sox (1975 World Series), Nationals and Rangers (Third Base Ticket) and Rox and (White) Sox, ultimately leading to more than 52 million votes being cast.
Previous winners of the All-Star Game Final Vote were: Brandon Inge (AL, 2009), Shane Victorino (NL, 2009); Evan Longoria (AL, 2008); Corey Hart (NL, 2008), Hideki Okajima (AL, 2007); Chris Young (NL, 2007); A.J. Pierzynski (AL, 2006); Nomar Garciaparra (NL, 2006); Scott Podsednik (AL, 2005); Roy Oswalt (NL, 2005); Hideki Matsui (AL, 2004); Bobby Abreu (NL, 2004); Jason Varitek (AL, 2003); Geoff Jenkins (NL, 2003); Johnny Damon (AL, 2002); and Andruw Jones (NL, 2002).
The Yankees all seem to agree on two major points — one, Target Field is a beautiful facility, and two, the Twins have successfully built themselves a pitchers park.
It takes a lot to crank a ball out of here, as the Twins have learned the hard way, and the Yankees have had a taste as well. Mark Teixeira thought that Juan Miranda’s deep drive in the eighth inning last night would have been “way out of most stadiums,” but instead it died in center field.
Nick Swisher played it the smart way with his game-winner, knowing he’d better be pulling.
“It is a big ballpark, don’t get me wrong,” Swisher said. “But I talked to some of the guys on the Twins earlier and they were saying that the ball does travel down the lines. It’s 403 in right-center and there’s a 30-foot wall. You’ve got to be a grown man to hit it out of there. I’ve got to go down the lines, you know?”
So while the Yankees do enjoy what they’ve seen here, they won’t be looking forward to trips to Minneapolis to benefit their power numbers.
“There weren’t many hits out there,” Teixeira said. “They play good defense. If you hit the ball in the air, it isn’t going anywhere. I think this park has shown to be a pitchers park thus far.”