David Price had just received the Bullet Rogan Pitcher of the Year Award on Tuesday at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and he wasn’t about to part with it.
NLBM president Bob Kendrick offered to ship the award, which the museum presents annually to the best pitcher in both leagues.
“No,” Price said with a smile as he gripped the award. “I’ll take this with me.”
Price, the Tampa Bay Rays pitcher who won last year’s AL Cy Young Award, toured the museum before the awards ceremony. He was joined by Rays first-base coach George Hendrick, pitching coach Jim Hickey and hitting coach Derek Shelton.
The Rays weren’t just visiting: they presented a check for $5,000 to the museum.
While this was Price’s third visit to the museum, he was accompanied on a tour by Kendrick, who has a vast collection of player stories.
“It’s fun to come out here and see our tradition of baseball and where it all began for myself,” Price said. “It’s a very rewarding time for me; it’s very special. I love to grow and gain knowledge about where it all started.
“To be able to win the Bullet Rogan Award is very special to me. … To come to the Negro Leagues museum and just to be able to be a part of something like this, to win an award, this is a very special time for me, and this is something I’m going to definitely cherish and put on my mantel.”
Price, who went 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA a year ago, is in town with the Rays, who open a three-game series with the Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday.
“David had an incredible season last year,” Kendrick said. “We’re so excited to see him excel at the major-league level, so today for us it is just an esteemed honor to be able to present him with the Bullet Rogan Pitcher of the Year award, which is our Cy Young Award.”