USAB announces '10 award winners
16U's Bregman first youth player to receive POY honors
The 16U National Team program received three awards. USA Baseball award winners from the team include second baseman Alex Bregman, receiving the Richard W. "Dick" Case Player of the Year Award, the 16U squad, winning the Team of the Year Award and manager Eric Kibler, receiving National Coach of the Year honors. Bregman and Kibler represent the first youth-level (18U, 16U and 14U National Team programs) player and coach, respectively, to receive player and coach of the year recognition.
Bregman took home Pan Am MVP and All-Tournament Team honors, finishing 22-for-39 (.564) with 17 runs scored, two homers and 17 RBIs over nine games. He also captured awards for scoring the most runs in the tournament and for recording the highest batting average. Seattle Mariners first baseman and 2009 World Cup Team member Justin Smoak was the recipient of the Dick Case Player of the Year Award last year, and other past winners include Stephen Strasburg (2008), Ryan Zimmerman (2004) and Ben Sheets (2000).
The 16U National Team continued its run of international success in 2010, winning its 40th straight game, dating back to 2005, with an 11-4 victory over host Mexico to win the COPABE "AA"/16U Pan American Baseball Championships in Lagos de Mareno. The team established new program records in hits with 143, besting the 122 the team scored in 1998. It also established a new record in runs scored (127), topping the previous high of 119 set in 2006. The World Cup Team (professional players) received the Team of the Year Award in 2009, and the 16U National Team was previously honored with the award in 2001 and 1998.
In addition to managing the 16U Team to gold, Kibler also led Horizon High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., to his sixth Arizona 5A state championship in 2010. He donned the red, white and blue in 2010 for the second time, having also served as an assistant coach on the world champion 2009 16U National Team. Kibler follows 2009 winner Eddie Rodriguez from the World Cup Team, and joins Davey Johnson (2005-07) and Tommy Lasorda (2000) as past winners.
"The level of parity within international baseball continues to rise each year, making what the 16U National Team has accomplished over the last several years that much more impressive," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. "We are proud to honor Alex, Eric and the 16U Team, along with all of our other 2010 award winners for their accomplishments."
Jenna Marston of the 2010 Women's National Team was named USA Baseball's SportsWoman of the Year. The University of Missouri sophomore -- and current Tigers softball star - helped lead Team USA to a bronze-medal finish at the IBAF Women's Baseball World Cup in Maracay, Venezuela. The win marked the second straight World Cup bronze for the U.S. women, and it continued Team USA's run of medaling in every World Cup since the event's inception in 2004.
Marston was 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the bronze medal game, and for the summer finished as the team leader in hits with 16, doubles with eight, and a .571 average (23-for-39). She anchored the U.S. defense at shortstop, where she was also recognized as a member of the All-Tournament Team. Marston contributed on the mound as well, hurling 14 innings while logging a 2-1 record and a 1.93 ERA. She joins Donna Mills (2004) as the only SportsWoman of the Year Award recipient for USA Baseball.
Chicago Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year Chris Archer was named the winner of the second annual International Performance of the Year which recognizes the athlete who authors the greatest single-game performance on an international stage while wearing the Team USA uniform in a given year. In 2010, Archer contributed such a performance on Oct. 11 for the Pan American Qualifying Team, earning a second-round win over world No. 1 Cuba behind six shutout innings. The right-hander allowed only two hits, while walking none and striking out 10. Pittsburgh Pirates top 2010 pick Jameson Taillon took home the inaugural award in 2009 following his own memorable start against Cuba in the 18U Pan American Baseball Championships.
Bregman, Marston and Archer will be honored with framed jersey presentations at to be determined locations and times.
In addition to Kibler's recognition as USA Baseball's National Coach of the Year, the organization also honored 2010 Collegiate National Team manager Bill Kinneberg with its Developmental Coach of the Year Award and Jim Comis with its Volunteer Coach of the Year Award.
Kinneberg has a long history with USA Baseball, first appearing in the red, white and blue as the pitching coach for the 1999 National Team, which ended the summer at 24-15. He worked for several years as the director of the organization's Athlete Development Program, and was the pitching coach for the 2007 National Team. The 2007 club went 25-12, finishing with a stellar 1.93 team ERA. The 2010 team went 16-3 under Kinneberg, capping its season with a silver medal at the FISU World University Championship.
Comis served as a volunteer instructor, task force member and coach for USA Baseball in 2010, working closely with the organization's various youth teams and its Collegiate and Women's Teams. He was most recently the head baseball coach at Needham Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C., until his retirement in 2009. He finished his career with 522 wins in high school coaching.
The USOC annually honors one SportsMan, SportsWoman and Team of the year from nominations from its National Governing Bodies (NGB). USA Baseball's nominations for the awards also serve as the organization's selections for the Dick Case Player of the Year, SportsWoman of the Year and Team of the Year Awards.