The Minnesota Twins announced the Diamond Awards, their annual awards for the 2012 season based on voting conducted by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. In addition, the Twins and the BBWAA announced plans for the Eighth Annual Diamond Awards which will be held January 24, 2013 at Target Field and will benefit brain, nerve and muscle disorders research at the University of Minnesota.
Outfielder Josh Willingham is the winner of the Calvin R. Griffith Award (the Twins’ first owner) given to the Most Valuable Twin. Willingham appeared in 145 games, batting .260 (135-for-519) with 30 doubles, 35 home runs and 110 RBI. He became just the second Twin with over 35 home runs and over 100 RBI in one season.
Left-handed pitcher Scott Diamond is the winner of the Joseph W. Haynes Award (Former Twins’ Executive Vice-President) given to the Twins Pitcher of the Year and the Bill Boni Award (Former St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press Executive Sports Editor) given to the Twins Most Outstanding Rookie. Diamond went 12-9, 3.54 (173.0 IP, 68 ER) with 90 strikeouts and 31 walks in 27 starts for the Twins. He became just the eighth Twins rookie to record 12 victories.
Outfielder Ben Revere is the winner of the Charles O. Johnson Award (Former Minneapolis Star Tribune Sports Editor) given to the Twins Most Improved Player and is the first ever recipient of the Jim Kaat Defensive Player of the Year Award (Former Twins Pitcher). Revere batted .294 (150-for-511) with 13 doubles, 70 runs scored and 40 stolen bases in 124 games. The 24-year old did not commit an error in 282 total chances in the outfield.
For the fifth time in his career Joe Mauer is the winner of the Dick Siebert Award (Former University of Minnesota Baseball Coach) given to the Upper Midwest Player of the Year. Mauer, who was the recipient of this award in 2006, ‘08, ‘09, and ‘10, batted .319 (174-for-545) with 31 doubles, 10 home runs, 85 RBI and 90 walks, while playing in a career-high 147 games.
For the second time in his career Justin Morneau is the winner of the Bob Allison Award (Former Twins’ Player) given to the Twins player who exemplifies determination, hustle, tenacity, competitive spirit and leadership both on and off the field. Justin, along with his wife Krista, are active in many off-field charitable events throughout the season, including Justin Morneau Casino Night, which raises money for the Arthritis Foundation.
Left-handed pitcher Glen Perkins is the winner of the Mike Augustin Award (Former Pioneer Press Sports Writer) given to the Twins player who fosters healthy relations with the media. Perkins set an example to teammates by always making himself available to local and national media members, while participating in local radio programs throughout the year.
The Eighth Annual Diamond Awards dinner, which will be held on Thursday, January 24, 2013 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Target Field, will honor the 2012 BBWAA award recipients as well as the winners of the Sherry Robertson Award (Oswaldo Arcia) for Twins Minor League Player of the Year, the Jim Rantz Award (B.J. Hermsen) for Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year, the Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award (Denard Span) and the Kirby Puckett Alumni Community Service Award (Roy Smalley).
All proceeds from the event will benefit the University of Minnesota’s innovative research and patient care focused on ataxia, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Along with the award winners, current and former Twins players and coaches are scheduled to appear at the event. Corporate sponsorships, tables and individual tickets are available now. For more information on the event visit www.minnesotadiamondawards.com or call (612) 624-8668.