Molitor Wins Branch Rickey Award
DENVER (AP) _ Seven-time All-Star Paul Molitor of the Minnesota Twins is the winner of the 1998 Branch Rickey Award recognizing major league players for their community service.
Molitor, who is ninth on the career hits list with 3,307, will be honored during a Nov. 20 banquet in Denver. He joins Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett, Ozzie Smith, Tony Gwynn, Brett Butler and Craig Biggio as Branch Rickey recipients.
The award, named for the former Brooklyn Dodgers general manager who signed Jackie Robinson, is given annually to a major league player, manager or executive who exemplifies ``service above self.″
``Paul Molitor was selected because of his numerous contributions to the community, his high ethical standards and his position as a strong role model,″ awards chairman Jim Pallasch said.
Molitor has served as spokesman for the Twins’ ``Stop the Violence Day,″ the Holiday Hunger Relief Food Drive and the Santa Anonymous Toy Drive. He also raised more than $40,000 for Camp Heartland and the Minnesota Make-A-Wish Foundation as he closed in on 3,000 career hits in 1996.
Molitor last year received the Phi Delta Theta Lou Gehrig Award for his character and leadership on and off the field. He also won the 1996 Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award named for the Minnesota Twins’ owner.