Rookie’s Day

I remember as a kid we would celebrate Mother’s Day the second Sunday in May and then we would celebrate Father’s Day the third Sunday in June. These were always big events where my brothers and I were expected to have gifts and show appreciation for everything that mom and dad did for us. This wasn’t hard as my parents did a lot for us. They both volunteered a lot of time with the Little League while we played and were always involved in our lives making sure we could play ball. But still, as every other kid with a calendar has noticed, there is no Kid’s day listed for any month. So I had to ask my mom why that was. She gave the patented answer that ever mother always give, “Every day is kid’s day.” Every kid I ever met was given that same answer when the question was asked. I am beginning to think that when a child is born the mother is given a book of answers to kids’ questions and this one is in chapter 1 right after “There are starving children in China that would love to have the food you are wasting.” The same question probably pertains to baseball rookies as well. We have a day where we recognize veterans so why isn’t there a Rookie’s Day?

Well it appears that there is and it is November 13. It’s kind of like Easter, it is never the same day each year but a few weeks after the ending of the World Series Major League Baseball starts handing out awards and one of those awards is specifically for rookies. I’m talking of course about the Rookie of the Year. The Arizona Diamondbacks have never had anyone win this award although Brandon Webb was recognized during his rookie season. This year the Diamondbacks do not have a contender again. Coner Jackson’s stats were not strong enough to garner much attention and Stephen Drew did not have enough playing time to be eligible. There is one candidate though that was a Diamondback until this time last year when he was selected as part of the Rule 5 Draft by the Florida Marlins. Dan Uggla was not protected by the Diamondbacks and was subsequently selected by the Marlins where he started at second base and had a great season. I truly thought he would win the NL Rookie of the Year edging out Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

I could not have been more wrong. When the voting results were released Zimmerman was indeed in second place but the winner was Uggla’s teammate Hanley Ramirez who played shortstop for the Marlins. Ramirez was definitely worthy of the award having a great season for Florida. Uggla finished a distant third behind Zimmerman so it wasn’t like he didn’t get a vote. He received 6 first place, 3 second place, and 16 third place votes compared to 14 first place, 11 second place, and 2 third place votes for Ramirez. What was even more interesting was that the Florida Marlins had 6 players (Ramirez, Uggla, Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen, Anibal Sanchez, and Josh Willingham finish with votes for Rookie of the Year. They were by far the most represented team in the voting followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers who had three players (Andre Ethier, Takashi Saito, Russell Martin) receive votes. Congratulations to Hanley Ramirez and happy Rookie’s Day to everyone who was nominated. Here’s hoping that the Diamondbacks can be represented for 2007 with their young players.

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