Highlighting an amazing 20-year period of growth for the game, Baseball America will honor Baseball Commissioner Emeritus Allan H. (Bud) Selig and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. at its Awards Gala during the Winter Meetings in Nashville on Dec. 8.
"Since the first Awards Gala in 2000, we have seen a wealth of special moments, from honoring Buck O'Neil in one of our previous visits to Nashville to remembering Tony Gwynn at last year's event in San Diego. No one who was there for those events will ever forget them," said Will Lingo, publisher/general manager of Baseball America. "This year will be no exception."
The Awards Gala will feature the winners of Baseball America's annual honors--including the Organization of the Year and players of the year in high school, college, the minor leagues and major leagues--while Selig and Ripken will receive two of the publication's most prestigious awards.
Commissioner Emeritus Selig will receive the Roland Hemond Award for his contributions to baseball's development. His role in baseball's growth over the last 20 years can't be overstated, and Hemond is one of the most revered figures in the game.
"I am truly honored to be this year's recipient of Baseball America's Roland Hemond Award," Selig said. "I've known Roland for more than 60 years and have the greatest respect for him as a person and for his contributions to the game of baseball. I am proud to have my achievements recognized by Roland and Baseball America."
Ripken will receive the Tony Gwynn Award for his lifetime contributions to the game. The award was named in Gwynn's honor after last year's event. With Ripken and Gwynn going into the Hall of Fame together, and on the 20th anniversary of Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak, he was a natural as the first recipient for the award.
“I am thrilled to be receiving the Tony Gwynn Award," Ripken said. "Tony was a friend and a terrific ambassador for the game. I will always remember entering the Hall of Fame with Tony and the great time we had in 2007. My sincere thanks to Baseball America for thinking of me on this anniversary year of 2,131 and bestowing me this honor.”
Selig, Ripken and the other award winners will receive their awards at the Baseball America Awards Gala on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the Opryland Resort in Nashville.