Luke Hughes wins prestigious award
Lots of press coverage the last few days about Luke’s recovery from that injury he got playing for the Heat. This is not surprising – he has a chance to make a difference with the Twins this year after their horrible injury plagued season last year and so naturally the media is watching him closely. In all that fuss about his rehab though we overlooked telling you that he was the recipient of the ABF’s most prestigious ‘Australian Baseball Player of the Year’. This article from the Heat will bring you up to speed.
By Justin Michael / Perth Heat
The most prestigious honour awarded by the Australian Baseball League was announced last night at the Baseball Australian Diamond Awards presented by Virgin Australia. ‘Alcohol Think Again’ Perth Heat and Minnesota Twins player Luke Hughes was named Australian Baseball Player of the Year. The award recognizes Hughes’ contributions to Australian baseball as a player with both his hometown club and in Major League Baseball. Hughes has not let his success go to his head as he stays grounded with his continued support and play in the Australian Baseball League. The commitment Hughes has made for the past two seasons with his hometown team has not only been on the field but off the field as well. Even when he is not playing, he is an ambassador of the game here in Perth and throughout Australia.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Australian Baseball Federation and the Australian Baseball League for this prestigious award and to congratulate all the Baseball Australia Diamond Award winners tonight. In particular I would like to congratulate the three Hall of Fame inductees Richard Shirt, Simone Wearne and especially my close friend Glenn Williams,” Hughes said.
Hughes was unable to attend the ceremony due to Spring Training commitments with the Twins in Florida. His acceptance speech was made by Baseball WA general manager Lachlan Dale on his behalf.
“While I am getting ready to start spring training and work towards my goal of making the team out of camp, it is refreshing to see that Australian baseball is growing stronger than ever and it’s a very exciting time for everybody involved in this great game. I have been lucky enough to play for 11 years in the Claxton Shield. To see the strength of the youth coming through today it is testament to every state’s commitment to strive for excellence year after year,” Hughes said.
Hughes is heading into a very crucial Spring Training with the Twins. He is now out of minor league options, and if he fails to make the roster out of Spring Training it is likely he will be claimed by another Major League club. As usual though, this Spring Training is no different to Hughes as he will battle for a roster spot as a utility infielder.
In addition, Hughes recognized and thanked his local West Australian supporters and mentors.
“To Baseball WA, in particular Geoff Hooker and Lachlan Dale, the West Australian institute of sport, Don Kyle, the Perth Heat ( how about those heaters this year) and the Morley Eagles baseball club, thank you for steering me down the right path and always being there to help me along the way and never giving up on me. I definitely couldn’t have done it without all of you,” he said.
Luke Hughes and Tim Kennelly were not the only award recipients; the Perth Heat proudly accepted another award at the BADA’s. The Heat were crowned with the Top Administration Award, which recognizes the top front office in the Australian Baseball League. More on this award will be posted shortly.
Follow Justin Michael on Twitter at @JMikeBaseball.