Mahendra Prasad, Nick Russell and Ken Pike picked up the prestigious Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, and the performances of many other Herts players were recognised at the Herts Baseball Club’s 2011 Annual Awards.
The end of the 2011 season seems a long time ago now, but finally the outstanding performers of last year were announced today.
Darrin Ward featured heavily in many of the award categories for the Herts Falcons including Best Pitcher, Home Run Champion (2 HR), Batting Champion (Avg .298) and Most RBIs (15), but it was Mahendra Prasad who collected the coveted MVP trophy. At the start of the season he faced the impossible task of having to fill the centerfield position vacated by the phenomenal Dan Kerry, on paternity leave after the birth of his daughter. Prasad proved to be one of the outstanding outfielders of the National Baseball League, and probably the fastest player around, despite suffering a hamstring injury in the second half of the year. Prasad also picked up the Outfield Gold Glove award.
The Herts Falcons’ Infield Gold Glove went to Louis Hare while Jon Lewys picked up Most Stolen Bases (8). Liam Green made his NBL debut in 2011 and his performances including his remarkable 0.00 ERA in his two games on the mound at such young age, attracted the praise of many in British baseball. Everyone at Herts hopes that Green will be the first of many talented players coming out of the Herts Youth academy and making their mark at the highest level of British baseball.
The awards event was the first opportunity for club members to see Nick and Sarah Russell after the birth of their son Luc earlier this month, who also made an appearance. Their car was significantly heavier on their return trip up the M1 as Russell scooped the Herts Hawks MVP award and the Best Pitcher Award (3 W). It was also confirmed that Russell was voted as the MVP of the 2011 Hunlock Series.
Jim Arnott couldn’t attend due to bereavement in his family. He was awarded the Herts Hawks Batting Champion title. The Gold Gloves went to two of the club’s most reliable players Ralph Bartholomew (Infield Gold Glove) and Matt Johnston (Outfield Gold Glove). Hawks Co-Manager, Andy Cornish, was the Home Run Champion with two dingers in 2011. Hunter Devine drove in the most RBIs (14) for the Hawks, while Ilya Dimitrov received the Most Stolen Bases title with what must be a record 37 steals.
In a very closely-run Herts Raptors MVP vote Manager, Ken Pike, was confirmed as the Raptors MVP and he also collected the Most Stolen Bases title. The club does not currently have an award recognising the work of managers, but if there was one, Pike and co-Manager, John Kjorstad, would be very deserving candidates for such an award after they managed to turn the Raptors’ season around in a big way with three wins in the last four games of the league season. Kjorstad himself was the recipient of the Outfield Gold Glove and the Home Run Champion awards, while the team’s South African ace, Theo Scheepers, picked up the Infield Gold Glove and Most RBIs.
In 2011 the Raptors received a much needed boost from two members of the Herts Baseball Academy who made their debuts in the British senior leagues. Jose Morillo and Zack Longboy were awarded the Coach’s Award and Best Pitcher Trophy, respectively.
Glen Downer may have joined Herts at the halfway point of the season but he certainly made his mark with the glove and with his bat in particular, bringing a lot of offensive power to the lineup. He was awarded the Herts Raptors Batting title as well as the Hunlock Series Blooper Award which was a baseball card signed by the infamous Bill Buckner of the Boston Red Sox. This award was generously donated by Tim Elkins. Downer’s blooper could not be compared to Buckner’s costly error in game 6 of the 1986 World Series, but it certainly had comedy value as it takes something special to make an attempt to steal second base with the bases loaded.
In the club-wide honours Troy Linton’s amazing diving catch as short stop for the Falcons against the Lakenheath Diamondbacks was chosen as the Play of the Year, and deservedly so. After that play fans and both sets of players were on their feet applauding it acknowledging the special play which they witnessed. Rod Naghar received the honour of being the club’s Most Improved Player of 2011 and the Excellence in Leadership award went to the Dimitrov family. Paul Curtis had numerous nominations in the ‘Nob-Out’ category so he was odds-on to win, and he did with his ‘Bragging Matserclass’ after the Herts Hawks at Guildford Mavericks AA game.
Click here for details of the Herts Baseball Bowling Contest which was held before the awards presentation.
|Batting Champion||Darrin Ward (.298)|
|Infield Gold Glove||Louis Hare|
|Outfield Gold Glove||Mahendra Prasad|
|Best Pitcher||Darrin Ward|
|Most Stolen Bases||Jonathon Lewys (8 SB)|
|Home Run Champion||Darrin Ward (2 HR)|
|Most RBIs||Darrin Ward (15 RBI)|
|Coach’s Award||Liam Green|
|Batting Champion||Jim Arnott|
|Infield Gold Glove||Ralph Bartholomew|
|Outfield Gold Glove||Matt Johnston|
|Best Pitcher||Nick Russell (W3)|
|Most Stolen Bases||Ilya Dimitrov (37)|
|Home Run Champion||Andy Cornish (2)|
|Most RBIs||Hunter Devine (14)|
|Coach’s Award||Kal Dimitrov|
|Batting Champion||Glen Downer|
|Infield Gold Glove||Theo Scheepers|
|Outfield Gold Glove||John Kjorstad|
|Best Pitcher||Zack Longboy|
|Most Stolen Bases||Ken Pike|
|Home Run Champion||John Kjorstad|
|Most RBIs||Theo Scheepers|
|Coach’s Award||Jose Morillo|
|Rookie of the Year||Oz Kemal|
|Most Improved Player||Rodney Naghar|
|Excellence in Leadership||The Dimitrov Family|
|Play of the Year||Troy Linton|
|Nob-Out Award||Paul Curtis – Bragging Masterclass|
|HUNLOCK SERIES AWARDS|
|Hunclok Series MVP||Nick Russell|
|Series Blooper Award||Glen Downer (stealing 2B w/bases loaded)|