League-Wide Awards Handed Out To The Firebirds

By Greg Joyce

On Friday night before game one of the playoffs, CCBL league president Judy Scarafile was on hand to present three league-wide awards to the Orleans Firebirds. Here is the official award presentation transcript:

“Tonight we are very pleased to have 3 awards about to be presented here on the field at Eldredge Park.

First is the 2011 East Division Championship Trophy.  League president Judy Walden Scarafile is presenting this to the Orleans Firebirds . This stunning bowl is being presented to President Don LeSieur, GM Sue Horton and Field Manager Kelly Nicholson.

Orleans finished the regular season with a 24-17 -3 record for a total of 51 points. They ended the regular season winning 9 of their last 10 and closed the season with a  4 – game winning  streak.

Congratulations to the entire Orleans Firebird organization!

Tonight we are very excited to present the Manny Robello 10th Player Award to Orleans first baseman Ben Waldrip, from Medford, Mass and Jacksonville State. The hard hitting first baseman batted .276 for the season with 134 AB, 6 HR and 23 RBI. Ben played in 39 games. He was an All Star at Fenway Park last Friday night, playing 1B for the East Squad.  Ben was a Coca- Cola Player of the Week in June and  was drafted by Atlanta Braves in 2010 and Kansas City Royals in 2011. Also, Ben played for Coach Scott Pickler for one season at Cypress College. Congratulations Ben on receiving this prestigious award.

Our third award is the Russ Ford Outstanding Relief Pitcher Award. This is named after a wonderful gentleman from Orleans who has been an intergal part of the Orleans organization for decades. Russ went on to become League  president in the 1980’s. It is an honor for me to present this award to Trevor Gott, from Lexington , KY and the Univ of KY

Trevor had an amazing 13 saves in the 19 games he played in. He pitched 22 innings,  had 28 strike outs and only 4 walks. he finished the season with an outstanding 1.23 ERA.”

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Awards Handed Out On Wednesday Night

By Greg Joyce

Prior to Wednesday night’s regular season home finale against Chatham, the Orleans Firebirds organization handed out their annual awards, citing eight players who went above and beyond expectations throughout the season.

The Charles F. Moore, Sr. Award for the team’s most valuable player went to Matt Duffy (Long Beach State), who was outstanding for the Firebirds all season long. Coming in as a temp, Duffy filled in at shortstop, second base, and third base, displaying his versatility in the field. He also slid into the three-spot in the lineup by the midpoint of the season, and finished the season as the team’s leading hitter, batting .346.

Duffy’s roommate and journey-mate, Ben Waldrip (Jacksonville State) shared the Charles F. Moore, Jr. Award with John Brebbia (Elon). The award cited Waldrip and Brebbia for their outstanding performance on and off the field. The young men have performed incredibly on the field for their team, and are two of the nicest players you will meet off the field as well.

Trevor Gott (Kentucky) was awarded with the Thomas Yankus Pitching Award for his performance on the mound. Gott finished the season 12-for-12 in save opportunities, with a 1.29 ERA. The All-Star’s cool demeanor and impressive poise on the hill earned him the relief pitcher of the year for the CCBL.

The next award was the Castleberry Coaches’ award, and it went to Reed Gragnani (Virginia) and Ronnie Shaeffer (UC Irvine). These two players did everything their coaches asked of them, and came to the field each and every day with great attitudes that their coaches were lucky to have.

Finally, the Harry Hossfeld Spirit Award was given to Andrew Aplin (Arizona State) and Anthony Gomez (Vanderbilt). These two players gave the Firebirds a much-needed spark when they arrived at the beginning of July, and their presence and energy could be felt in every game. Whether they were hitting, making spectacular defensive plays, or just getting guys excited in the dugout, Aplin and Gomez gave Orleans the jumpstart it needed to lock up the number one seed in the East.