KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Orioles became the first team in the 13-year history of the annual Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Legacy Awards -- which recognize the best players, managers and executives in the game with honors named after Negro League legends -- to receive three individual awards in the same year.
In a ceremony at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on Wednesday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter received the C.I. Taylor American League Manager of the Year Award. Closer Jim Johnson received the Hilton Smith Award for the best AL reliever, and center fielder Adam Jones received the Pop Lloyd Award for extraordinary baseball and community leadership.
For Showalter, it was the second time he’s received the C.I. Taylor AL Manager of the Year award. He won it in 2004 while with the Rangers.
“Buck Showalter has been a great friend of this museum,” NLBM president Bob Kendrick said. “We think he is one of the best in the business in what he does.”
Jones has long been active in the Baltimore community. Jones and the Orioles combined to donate $75,000 to the Metropolitan Baltimore Boys and Girls Club renovate their Brooklyn O’Malley Boys and Girls Club Technology and Learning Center. He is also active in the local RBI League, the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Orioles Reach game-day program.
“We don’t do this for recognition,” Jones said. “Our on-field play is a testament to our hard work. I think we all understand what we mean to our individual communities. … We all try to do our part.”
Before the ceremony, the Showalter, Jones and Johnson received a tour of the museum from Kendrick. (See Vine video below.)
“Getting this award is special and learning where this [award] came from … It’s a great history lesson while we’re here, and we enjoyed it," Johnson said. "You really didn’t understand what they had to go through to get to the next level … the times they to deal with, some of the barriers they broke.”
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