The Ban Johnson League, Kansas City’s 90-year-old summer showcase for collegiate baseball players, recognized standout individuals from the 2017 season at its annual awards dinner Wednesday night at Deer Creek Golf Club in Overland Park.
Among the highlights:
▪ The league named its umpire of the year award in memory of former Negro Leagues and Ban Johnson umpire Bob Motley. This year, the award went to Clint Baxter.
▪ Tyler Cox, the BJ Raiders’ designated hitter, was named the league’s Lester Milgram Most Valuable Player. The Blue Valley West graduate who attends Maple Woods Community College also earned the Bob Allison Offensive Player of the Year award. Cox finished with a .441 average, five home runs and 23 RBI. His .607 OBP and 1.370 OPS were first in the league, and his .763 slugging percentage ranked second.
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▪ Alex Van Pelt, a NKC Apartments Giants first baseman and St. Thomas Aquinas graduate at Rockhurst University, received the Hustle Award. His nine homers led the league, his 26 RBIs ranked second and his 1.204 on base-plus slugging and .760 slugging percentage ranked third.
▪ PJ Seufert, a Lee’s Summit North grad now attending attending Rockhurst University, was named the 2017 Rick Sutcliffe Pitcher of the Year. The NKC Apartments Giants pitcher was 5-0 with a 0.72 ERA; his 0.82 WHIP led the league and his .176 opponents’ batting average ranked second.
▪ Dalton Lanpher, the BJ Raiders’ shortstop, received the Frank White Award for Fielding Excellence. He had a fielding percentage of .912, committing six errors in 68 chances. He’s a Rockhurst High grad who attends Cowley College.
▪ Regal Plastic, managed by Tom Dailey, was presented the BJ Championship trophy.