Ridge Meadows Minor Baseball honoured its best at the end of another season of hardball.
Last year was the first time the association awarded the Most Inspirational Player Award, in memory of Jesse Herman.
“Jesse passed away in 2005, but his memory lives on in the RMMBA,” said Melissa Nisbet, the special events coordinator.
This year’s winner is Sammy McArdle, who is new to Ridge Meadows baseball this season. He has only one athletic hand and must use it for catching, throwing and hitting, but is able to play at the top level in the association as a pitcher and outfielder.
“Sammy is an incredible teammate, he is always the first player on the bench to pick up a teammate that is struggling and is always cheering on those that are having success,” said the nomination from the coaching staff of the Royals Triple A college prep team.
“He has not only worked to become a player in the College Prep league, he has overcome tremendous challenges to get there, because Sammy has only seven fingers. When fielding the ball, or pitching, Sammy is forced to use the same hand to field and throw, which is difficult enough with two hands. Sammy thrives and never makes excuses for himself.”
In a June 27 game against the Tri-City Thunder, McArdle went three-for-three at the plate and drive in four runs as his team won 5-1. He also stole two bases.
The nomination praised his outstanding work ethic and attitude.
“Sammy is loved by all his teammates and has pushed all the players on our team to be better this year, by constantly giving his best at every practice and competing his absolute hardest whether he is in the outfield, on the mound or in the batter’s box,” said the nomination. “Not only is Sammy a hard worker, the joy he gets from playing the game of baseball is contagious.”
The Players of the Year for each division are:
MVP – Aryaman Dhesi
Most Improved – Declan O’connell
MVP- Jacob White
Most Improved – Ryan Pears
MVP – Adrienne Schneider
Most Improved – Linden Tober
MVP – Owen Voycey
Most Improved – Karson Fawcett
Best Pitcher – Jake Clarke
MVP – Miles Reed
Most Improved – Haans Hartmann
Best Pitcher – Jarrett Lynch
MVP – Pierce Radke
Most Improved – Caleb Bartek
Best Pitcher – Chris Gibson
MVP – Quade Lycan
Most Improved – Kai Gjaltema
Best Pitcher – Ryan Doyle
Umpire of the Year Award: David Caughlin.
“Congratulations to our winners, and all of our players, for modelling sportsmanship, competition in games paired with cooperation and teamwork with their teammates, and their love of baseball,” said Nisbet.