The Association of Professional Ballplayers of America held its annual Dinner and Get-Together on February 2, 2013. There were approximately 300 people in attendance with 180 of them Members of the Association!
Each year at the dinner the Association presents the Win Clark award to the first year player from Southern California who had the most outstanding season in his debut. This award is in honor of the former Secretary of the Association , who served from 1938 to 1959, and was first presented to Lee Walls, who went on to a successful ten year major league career. Other well known awardees include Willie Davis, Johnny Callison, Jim Lefebvre, Ron Fairly, Tim Wallach, Mark Grace, Jeff Cirillo, Steve Kemp, Tony Gwynn, Carlos Quentin and Jay Gibbons. Last year’s winner was Gary Brown of the San Francisco Giants organization.
This year’s winner is catcher Tyler Heineman of the Houston Astros organization. Tyler’s home is Pacific Palisades, and he attended UCLA. He was an eighth round selection by the Astros in the 2012 draft and was assigned to Tri-Cities in the New York-Penn League. There he hit a league leading .358 in 55 games. Tyler will probably begin the 2013 season at low A.
The Chuck Stevens award is presented to the Southern California resident who had the most outstanding season in the minor leagues. This award is presented in honor of the long time Secretary of the Association who served the organization for 38 years. Previous award winners Keith Ginter, Sean Burroughs, Jeremy Reed, Jerry Owens, Jason Hirsh, Ryan Madson, Tommy Hanson, Evan Longoria, Freddie Freeman and Brett Pill have all played in the major leagues with Ryan and Evan appearing in the 2008 World Series. This year’s winner is pitcher Christian Bergman of the Colorado Rockies organization. Christian is a resident of Lake Forest, attended UC Irvine, and was drafted by the Rockies in the 24th round of the 2010 draft. He came into his own in 2012 when he posted a 16-5 record with a 3.65 at High A Modesto in the California League and was selected as the pitcher of the year in that league. Christian will probably begin the 2013 season at Double A Tulsa in the Texas League.
The Associstion was founded on October 9, 1924 by twelve active ballplayers at Los Angeles, California with the purpose of providing financial aid to those members of the baseball family who are having a difficult time. We help all of these baseball people—major league or minor league, it makes no difference. Over the years we’ve helped several thousand individuals who were in need. The need for assistance continues as strong as ever, as many have no place to turn but the Association.
The Association relies on a volunteer Board of Directors to govern operations and ensure success. Many of the greatest names in baseball have served on the Board; among them are Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio and Sparky Anderson, to name a few. Current Board members are Dusty Baker, Terry Francona, Tony Gwynn, Tony LaRussa, Tom Lasorda, Jim Leyland, Brooks Robinson, Nolan Ryan, Ryne Sandberg and Mike Scioscia.
Association of Professional Ball Players of America 101 South Kraemer Avenue, Suite 112 Placentia, California 92870