The Thurman Munson Award is handed out to those who have achieved inspiration and success not only on the field, but have been actively involved in their communities.
This is the 36th year the award has been presented, in honor of the late Yankees catcher and captain, Thurman Munson. The honorees for the award in 2016 include current Yankees and battery mates Andrew Miller and Brian McCann, and also former Yankees pitcher Jim Abbott. Abbott has been an inspiration to many with disabilities, and threw a no-hitter during his career. Others honorees include New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia and 1986 Mets World Champion closer Jesse Orosco.
Thurman’s widow Diana will be attending the event as she has been involved each year during the 36-year history.
Miller had legendary shoes to fill as the closer after the retirement of Mariano Rivera in addition to signing a four year contract with the Yankees last offseason. He has become one of the most dominating closers in the game while serving his community by supporting the “Strike 3 Foundation”. The Foundation works and researches for children with cancer. He is also involved with the Yankees “Hope Week” and Charity Day for the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fun.
McCann, who is an 11 year veteran in the league, has participated in the Yankees “Hope Week” and created the Brian McCann Home Run Challenge, involving those kids affected by cancer. In addition, he is involved in the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research.
Abbott grew up playing baseball with the challenges most kids do not have, playing baseball without a right hand. While he had his tests growing up, the left-hander tossed a no-no in September of 1993. The former 10-year pitcher in the majors has worked with The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, which works with companies and businesses to hire people who are disabled.
The ceremony will be held on February 9th at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.