In this time when negativism seems
so rampant and the very fabric of the Cardinal Nation becoming unraveled around
the edges over financial squabbles, even the rare piece of inarguable good news
is often either ignored, considered irrelevant to those seeking fresh blood to
spill or at best, pushed to the footnotes.
If that is your thing, stop
reading this and move along to chasing the next ambulance that leaves the
Though both the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Belleville
News-Democrat reported on the happenings at Monday’s annual St. Louis
Baseball Writers' Association of America Dinner, scant notice was given to one
of the few new awards announced at the banquet that evening.
Ample ink was rightly spilled over
Most Valuable Player Albert Pujols
and Gold Glove Award winner Yadier Molina, for example. Yet the first-time announcement of the 2008 Darryl Kile Award selection, pitcher Adam Wainwright (right), was barely
mentioned in the papers’ summaries of the evening. (Edit: MLB.com's recap of the evening did not include the Kile Award.)
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not
being critical of the papers themselves or the Baseball Writers as a group.
After all, the Kile Award would not exist if not for the local BBWAA members. To
their benefit, the winner is selected by Cardinals players, not the press.
The Award was first announced in
January, 2003, but not given out the first year to memorialize the late pitcher
for which the recognition is named. The criteria include Kile’s qualities of
being “a good teammate, a great friend, a fine father and a humble
man,” words that certainly characterize the 27-year-old, the youngest Kile Award winner to date.
Kile took great pride in never missing a start in 331 major league outings and in never spending a day on the major league disabled list in 12 years. The right-handed pitcher passed away in his sleep due to coronary disease on June 22, 2002, leaving an adoring wife, two small children, legions of fans and a grieving Cardinals organization.
I am told the Post's Derrick Goold made a fine presentation, including kudos sent along by now-former Cardinal Russ Springer. Wainwright clearly was moved by the weight of the recognition his peers bestowed upon him. According to the BND, the pitcher “nearly teared up” when
accepting the award.
"If I ever win the Cy Young or MVP awards, I'll cherish
this more," Wainwright said.
Now there’s a good story that
deserves a headline or two and I, for one, am more than happy to oblige.
Congratulations to Adam and all the past winners of this most prestigious honor.
Louis Cardinals Darryl Kile Award
2002: Not awarded in honor of
Darryl Kile (right)
2003: Mike Matheny
2004: Woody Williams
2005: Cal Eldred
2006: Chris Carpenter
2007: Russ Springer
Brian Walton can be reached via
email at email@example.com.
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