NLBM set to present Legacy Awards
by Dick Kaegel, MLB.com
Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee and Cito Gaston are the headliners for the ninth annual Legacy Awards of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on Saturday night.
The event will start at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday at the historic Gem Theater, directly across from the museum at 1615 E. 18th St. in Kansas City.
Howard, who led the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies with 48 homers and 148 RBIs, will receive the Josh Gibson Award as the National League’s top player. This is the second time in three years that Howard has won the honor.
Lee, who had a spectacular 22-3 record and 2.54 ERA for the Cleveland Indians, will receive the Bullet Rogan Award as the American League’s best pitcher. Lee is the second straight Tribe pitcher to win both the Cy Young and Rogan awards, following ex-teammate CC Sabathia.
Gaston is the recipient of the Jackie Robinson Lifetime Achievement Award. Gaston became the first and only African-American manager to win a World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and again in 1993. He returned to manage the club last season. Joe Carter, whose home run gave the Jays the second title, will present the award to Gaston.
Broadcaster Roy Firestone will be the master of ceremonies.
Legacy Awards go to winners in both Major Leagues, given in the spirit of such Negro Leagues legends as Gibson, Rogan, Cool Papa Bell and Buck O’Neil, a co-founder of the museum.
Other honorees expected in the house are Detroit Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson (Pop Lloyd Award); general managers Doug Melvin of the Milwaukee Brewers and Tony Reagins of the Los Angeles Angels (Rube Foster Award); Chris Murray of the Philadelphia Tribune (Sam Lacy Award) and retiring Kansas State University president Jon Wefald (Buck O’Neil Award). Wefald will receive his award from returning KSU football coach Bill Snyder.
The celebration also has scheduled appearances by actors Keith David, Omar Benson Miller and Kendra C. Johnson, Inside Edition’s April Woodard and D-Woods of the group Danity Kane. There will be musical performances by Q. Parker, Kim Burrell and the group SILK.
Tickets are still available at $75 for the show only and $150 for the show and post-event dinner by calling 816-221-1920. Proceeds benefit the NLBM and its educational and community outreach programming.