Brian Graham, the Orioles’ director of player development, has won this year’s Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award presented by Minor League Baseball for meritorious service in player development.
Graham, 53, rejoined the Orioles in 2008 as a special assignment coach in the minors and in 2009 became coordinator of minor league instruction. He was promoted to development director before last season. He has spent 32 years in professional baseball, including six with the Orioles. In 2000, he was part of Mike Hargrove’s coaching staff.
Graham was also a former minor league manager in the Cleveland Indians organization and a senior director of development with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He served as the Pirates’ interim general manager in 2007.
Graham is the sixth recipient of the annual award, which targets those who have been instrumental in player development throughout lengthy baseball careers. He will receive the award in Orlando, Fla., next month during baseball's winter meetings.