|The late George Kissell|
"It was a well deserved honor for Mike," Vuch said. "The entire staff votes on the award now and it was an overwhelming response in his favor. He really does a great job for us."
Kissell essentially wrote the book that defines "The Cardinal Way" as a player, manager and teaching leader of the organization from 1940 until he passed away in the fall of 2008 due to injuries suffered in an automobile accident.
The Cardinals recognized Kissell's importance long before his untimely passing, first establishing the Award in 1995 to recognize a member of the organizational staff for excellence in player development. Not surprisingly, Kissell himself received the first Award.
As Vuch noted, the winner was chosen through voting by the Cardinals minor league field staff, with the peer recognition making it all the more meaningful. That change in the selection process was made in 2008.
|Shildt hoisted the Appy League trophy|
The native of Charlotte, NC has done more than manage players. He has served as coordinator for Cardinals minor league spring training, extended spring training and the fall instructional camp. Shildt has worked for the organization for eight years, including time as a scout and prior to that was a coach at the collegiate level.
Last fall, long before the Kissell Award for 2010 had been decided, Shildt's past and present leader, Field Coordinator Mark DeJohn, made perhaps the ultimate compliment when he told me the following.
"To put it simply, George Kissell would love Mike Shildt. If George was alive today, he'd say, ‘That's a Cardinal, a real Cardinal.'"
Congratulations to the George Kissell Award winner for 2010, Mike Shildt.
Exclusive for The Cardinal Nation subscribers: Shildt discusses what Kissell and the Award means to him and notes many of those who have helped him along the way.
George Kissell Award winners
|2010||Mike Shildt||Johnson City (SS-R) manager|
|2009||Chris Maloney||Memphis (AAA) Manager|
|2008||Mark DeJohn||Batavia (SS-A) Manager|
|2007||Dan Radison||Minor League Hitting Instructor|
|2006||Chris Maloney||Springfield (AA) Manager|
|2005||Ron "Pop" Warner||Palm Beach (A-Adv) Manager|
|2004||Blaise Ilsley||Tennessee (AA) Pitching Coach|
|2003||Mark DeJohn||Tennessee (AA) Manager|
|2002||Danny Sheaffer||Peoria (A) Manager|
|2001||Dyar Miller||Memphis (AAA) Pitching Coach|
|2000||Gaylen Pitts||Memphis (AAA) Manager|
|1999||Mark Riggins||Minor League Pitching Coordinator|
|1998||Joe Pettini||Minor League Field Coordinator|
|1997||Mark O'Neal||Memphis (AAA) Athletic Trainer|
|1996||Bo Milliken||Minor League Pitching Instructor|
|1995||George Kissell||Senior Field Coordinator|
Link to related article: "Celebrating Johnson City's 2010 Championship"
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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