On January 31 the Association of Professional Ballplayers of America will hold its 90th annual Dinner and Get-Together at the Grand Event Center in Long Beach and will present its awards for outstanding play during the 2014 season by Southern California residents.
Wes Parker, a former first baseman with the Los Angeles Dodgers, will be the key note speaker. Mr. Parker played nine years with the Dodgers, 1964-72, and was universally recognized as the finest fielding first baseman of his era. He led the National League five times in fielding percentage and retired with a .267 average in an era that was dominated by great pitching.
The APBPA Family Award is being presented to Harry Minor and his son, Bob in recognition to their long successful scouting careers and support of the Association. Harry played and managed in the minor leagues for 14 years, then began his scouting career with the Braves in 1961. He eventually moved to the New York Mets organization where he spent 35 years as a scout and was the West Coast Scouting Supervisor when he retired. Bob began his scouting career in 1981 and has scouted for several clubs. He is currently a major league scout for the Pirates.
The Chuck Stevens Award is presented for the most outstanding minor league player from Southern California in 2014. The award is in honor of the long time Secretary of the Association who held that post for 38 years and enjoyed a playing career of over twenty years which included several years with the Hollywood Stars. Previous award winners have been Keith Ginter, Sean Burroughs, Ryan Madson, Greg Jacobs, Jeremy Reed, Jerry Owens, Jason Hirsh, Evan Longoria, Josh Vitters, Tommy Hanson, Thomas Neal, Freddie Freeman, Brett Pill, Christian Bergman and Kyle Hendricks.
This year’s winner is KEVIN PILLAR, an outfielder with the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Kevin is a native of West Hills, graduated from Cal State-Dominguez Hills in 2011 and was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 32nd round that year. He began his professional career with Bluefield in the Appalachian League that year, where he batted .347. The next year he advanced to Lansing in the Midwest League where he batted .322 and stole 35 bases in 86 games. He was promoted to High A Dunedin in the Florida State League to finish the 2012 season, and continued his fine hitting at .323 in 42 games with an additional 16 stolen bases. In 2013 he began the season at Double A New Hampshire before a promotion to the Triple A Buffalo Bisons. He remained at Buffalo at the beginning of 2014, playing 100 games before he was called up to the Blue Jas in August. Kevin was the MVP for the Bisons. In his minor league career he batted .314. He was called up by the Blue Jays in late August and remained at Toronto for the rest of the season. Kevin will probably open the 2015 season as the regular Blue Jays center fielder.
The Win Clark Award is presented to the most outstanding first year player in Southern California. This year’s winner is JOSH MORGAN, a second baseman in the Texas Rangers organization. Josh is a graduate of Orange Lutheran High School and was drafted in the third round of the 2014 draft. He began his career with the Arizona League Rangers and was promoted to Spokane in the Northwest League. There he hit .303 and showed a good eye at the plate with frequent walks and quality at bats. He also played some shortstop and demonstrated good arm strength. Josh will probably open the 2015 season at High A Hickory in the South Atlantic League
The Clark award is in honor of a long-time Secretary of the Association and has been given each year since 1951. Among the recipients are Tony Gwynn, Willie Davis, Jim Lefebvre, Mark Grace, Tim Wallach, Steve Kemp, Carlos Quentin and Jeff Cirillo, all of whom have enjoyed significant major league careers. Last year’s winner, J.P. Crawford of the Phillies organization had a fine season at High A Clearwater in the Florida State League.
The Association is a benevolent organization, which was founded in 1924 by twelve active professional ballplayers. Its sole mission is to provide financial assistance for the ill and indigent players, coaches, managers, scouts and clubhouse. Since its founding, the Association has helped over 3,600 former players with total assistance in excess of $5,000,000. The Association is a firm supporter of ball players continuing their education and offers a tuition discounts for online courses at the University of Phoenix for qualified members.
For more information, contact Dick Beverage, Secretary/Treasurer at (714) 528-2012.
2015 GOLD DONORS
Association of Professional Ball Players of America 101 South Kraemer Avenue, Suite 112 Placentia, California 92870
Monday - Friday • 8 am to 4 pm PST Phone: (714)528-2012 • Fax: (714)528-2037 • Text (714) 306-8560 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org