A last chance reminder - it's 17 degrees at Citi Field as I type this and it's still seven days until David Wright arrives in Port St. Lucie, Florida as the (likely) first Mets veteran in camp. But you can see Wright and a bevy of other baseball high society tonight at the BBWAA Awards dinner at the New York Hilton, where all of the MLB hardware will be handed out (MVPs, Cy Youngs, etc.) and the honorees of the local New York chapter will be recognized.
In addition to those recipients -- the complete list appears below -- Bernie Williams will perform his rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" off his upcoming album. The Mets also will give away a pair of Shea seats (value $869) to one lucky purchaser of the evening's Scorebook program (cost $5) that will be on sale before the dinner.
Among the honorees are our own baseball columnist, Bob Klapish, who will receive the Milton Richman You Gotta Have Heart Award for his dedication to the game - on and off the field, chronicling it in the Record and still playing it at, well, let's just say an advanced age. It's been written here many times, but Klap suffered a severe eye injury this past season when he was hit in the face with a one-hopper rifled back to the mound. But he has already made it back to the pages of the Record and likely won't be kept off the mound.
Tickets are still available (as well as at the door) and the price is $225. For more information, contact Phil Pepe at the Hilton New York at 212-586-7000. Cocktails are at 5 p.m., the dinner follows at 6.
Here are the honorees:
NY Chapter BBWAA awards:
Sid Mercer -Dick Young Player of the Year – BRAD LIDGE
Ben Epstein- Dan Castellano Good Guy – JOHNNY DAMON
William J. Slocum-Jack Lang Long and Meritorious Service – GREG MADDUX
Casey Stengel You Can Look It Up – MIKE MUSSINA
Joe DiMaggio Toast of the Town – JOHAN SANTANA
Milton Richman You Gotta Have Heart – BOB KLAPISCH
Willie, Mickey and the Duke – BERNIE WILLIAMS/ED KRANEPOOL
Babe Ruth World Series MVP – COLE HAMELS
Joan Payson – DAVID WRIGHT
AL MVP – DUSTIN PEDROIA
NL MVP – ALBERT PUJOLS
AL Cy Young – CLIFF LEE
NL Cy Young – TIM LINCECUM
AL Manager – JOE MADDON
NL Manager – LOU PINIELLA
AL Rookie – EVAN LONGORIA
NL Rookie – GEOVANY SOTO