(Field coordinator Mark DeJohn addresses the group.)
Most were already known, such as the organization's Pitcher and Player of the Year, Zach Petrick and Kolten Wong, respectively. Still, there had to be tremendous pride in receiving the recognition in front of over 175 peers as well as coaches and staff.
In fact, among those in the latter category who spoke to the collected players at the noon Thursday meeting were general manager John Mozeliak and special instructor Willie McGee.
Other awards given were to each league all-star from across the system last summer. That list is included at the bottom of this page.
The one piece of very important recognition that was secret until today is the winner of the George Kissell Award for excellence in player development across the Cardinals organization.
The selection for 2013 is State College Spikes manager Oliver Marmol, who in his first year in the job led his New York-Penn League squad to one win away from the league title.
Perhaps the selection should not be a surprise, as The Cardinal Nation named Marmol our system-wide Manager of the Year last fall.
Under Marmol (center) and his staff - pitching coach Dernier Orozco and hitting coach Ramon Ortiz - the Spikes won their division, reaching the NYPL post-season for the first time in the franchise's eight-year history. The club's 48-27 record and .640 winning percentage topped the short-season Class-A league.
The 2013 Spikes became known for playing exciting baseball, logging eight walkoff wins. Though State College dropped the final two games of the Championship Series at home, both contests were decided by a single run. Attendance was up almost 10 percent over 2012.
Cardinals Director of Player Development Gary LaRocque likes what he has in Marmol.
"With Oli's leadership, in returning back to State College – we were very successful – especially from a development standpoint," the farm director said.
And player development is what it is all about. The bi-lingual Marmol is busy almost year-round, also serving as skipper of the Cardinals extended spring training and fall instructional league clubs. His 2013 Spikes roster included five NYPL all-stars, including league batting champion Steven Ramos.
The Kissell Award is the top recognition any member of the player development organization could receive and remains an annual reminder of the importance of George Kissell to generations of Cardinals.
|the late George Kissell|
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.
The winner is chosen through voting by the Cardinals minor league field staff, with the peer recognition making it all the more meaningful.
Congratulations to the George Kissell Award winner for 2013, Oliver Marmol.
George Kissell Award winners
|2013||Oliver Marmol||State College (SS-A) manager|
|2012||Bryan Eversgerd||Springfield (AA) pitching coach|
|2011||Steve Turco||Gulf Coast League (SS-R) manager|
|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|
2013 St. Louis Cardinals minor league all-stars
|Futures Game (2)|
|World||Oscar Taveras I|
|Position Player||Brock Peterson S||Brock Peterson|
|Pitcher||Keith Butler P|
|Deryk Hooker P|
|Tim Cooney A|
|Heath Wyatt A|
|Position Player||Tommy Pham P||Ruben Gotay|
|Mike O'Neill S I||Mike O'Neill|
|Ruben Gotay S|
|Chris Swauger A S|
|Palm Beach (6)|
|Pitcher||Ronnie Shaban A||Ronnie Shaban|
|Position Player||Jonathan Rodriguez||Jonathan Rodriguez|
|Stephen Piscotty||David Popkins|
|Kurt Heyer P|
|Zach Petrick P|
|Corey Baker P|
|Position Player||Breyvic Valera|
|Jacob Wilson I|
|State College (5)|
|Position Player||David Washington S|
|Steven Ramos S|
|Ronald Castillo S|
|Johnson City (3)|
|Position Player||Rowan Wick|
|Position Player||Edmundo Sosa|
|I = injured|
|A = added to team|
|S = All-star starter|
|P = promoted|
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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