2011 Minor League Awards: Buffalo Bisons
The Buffalo Bisons announced their 2011 Season award winners last week.
It’s been a big week for Buffalo 1st baseman, Valentino Pascucci. After being named the Bisons’ 2011 M.V.P., he received his first big league call-up since 2004, when he played 32 games for the Montreal Expos. Pascucci, a fan favorite in Buffalo, led the team in Games 130, Runs 58, Hits 117, 2B’s 29, HR’s 21, RBI’s 91, Walks 76, TB’s 211 and Strikeouts 149, this year.
WARREN SPAHN AWARD
Chris Schwinden was named 2011 Bisons Most Valuable Pitcher and was likewise called up to the big club to make his big league debut in the Mets double-header with Atlanta this Thursday. Schwinnie led the Herd in GS 26, IP 145.2 and K’s 134, and tied for the club lead in victories with 8 wins. Overall, he went 8-8 with a 3.95 ERA, and the league hit .250 off him.
JUDGE MICHAEL DILLON AWARD
Bison LHP Justin Hampson was the Comeback Player of the Year for Buffalo. After undergoing two seasons marred by injury, Hampson is once again 100% healthy, and was one of the Herd’s best relievers all season. He was second on the club in appearances with 51, 1st in Holds with 8, 1st batter out proficiency: 71%, 21 out of 27 Inherited Runners stranded, for a success rate of: 78%. For the year left-handed hitters batted only .211 against Hampson, with a total of 6 extra base hits. Overall he went 3-3 with a 3.47 ERA as a workhorse for Buffalo. In addition to the Comeback Player award, Justin also won the Frank J. “Fremo” Vallone Community Service Award, for his work in the community. Hampson’s major league totals are: 5 games with Colorado in 2006 where he picked up his first big league win. Then 2007 and 2008 with the San Diego Padres where he was: 4-4 with a 2.79 ERA, 53/26 K/BB ratio, in 84 IP combined.
MOST INSPIRATIONAL PLAYER AWARD
Went to catcher Raul Chavez, for his inspiring play, and love of the game. Chavez batted .199 with 1 HR and 22 RBI’s in 241 AB’s.
JIMMY GRIFFIN AWARD
The Hometown Hero Award goes to infielder Luis Figueroa. He was outstanding in front of the home fans at Coca-Cola Field all year long, going .304 in 48 games. Overall the switch-hitting SS batted .294 in 347 AB’s, 109 Hits, 54 Runs, 21 2B’s, 2 3B’s, 1 HR, 27 RBI’s and a .348 OBP.
About the Author: Peter Shapiro
The first time I went to Shea was not for a Mets game, it was for the Beatles concert there in August of '66. My first Met game was '67, a guy named Salty Parker was the interim-manager then. My first pennant race was 1969. As a 12 year-old that summer and fall, I managed to get to the park for 3 games. The first was the beginning of the Miracle which actually started on Tuesday July 8, 1969 with a day game against the Cubs. I was there a lot in '73. I saw games 3 & 5 of the 1973 NL Playoffs against the "Big Red Machine", from the upper deck behind home plate. It was from there that I witnessed the fight between Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose, and the mayhem that ensued. And that sweet victory in game 5! I saw a couple of WS games at Shea that year against that legendary Oakland A's club. I was there in 1985 for every single game Dr. K pitched including his two 16 strikeout performances, and the day he one-hit the Cubs on an infield single and the Mets won 1-0. I loved being a Met fan in those days. Hopefully we are once again preparing to emerge from the darkness.
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