Friday, September 18, 2009

Wiegand wins Rays community service award

Ryan Wiegand won the Erik Walker Community Champion Award, which recognizes a Tampa Bay minor leaguer for teamwork, sportsmanship and community service.

Erik Walker was a Rays minor-league pitcher who died in October 2006 in a canoeing accident. He had just finished his first professional season.

Wiegand, who was a 25th-round draft pick this year and played for Rookie-level Princeton, receives $2,500 for the charity of his choice. The 22-year-old was a key participant in a reading and nutrition program at two Princeton-area elementary schools. He also helped spread the program to a school in a neighboring county. Wiegand was also one of four Princeton players featured on an anti-tobacco poster.

Wiegand "was easily our most active player in community activities," Princeton general manager Jim Holland said.

Finalists from Tampa Bay's other six affiliates will have $500 donated to the charity of their choice.
Durham: Alex Jamieson
Montgomery: Paul Phillips
Charlotte: Darin Downs
Bowling Green: Anthony Scelfo
Hudson Valley: Chris Murrill
GCL: Lucas Nakandakare

Biscuits catcher Matt Spring won last year's Walker Award and Patrick Cottrell was the 2007 winner.

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