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Clutch Hitters and Baseball Writers Honor Rays Best

Sold Out Luncheon Raises $27,500 for Rays Foundation

October 2, 2015 - The Tampa Bay Clutch Hitters, a local business group on a mission to support the Tampa Bay Rays, held their 5th annual Rays Awards Luncheon Friday in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Logan Forsythe was honored with the Don Zimmer MVP Award for the 2015 season.  Nathan Karns was voted the Outstanding Rookie.  Chris Archer was recipient of the Paul C. Smith Champion Award, given to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field.

The Rays Radio team of Andy Freed and Dave Wills served as MCs for the event assisted by Rays TV broadcaster Todd Kalas.  Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times and the Baseball Writers Chapter Chairman presented the Rays Awards.

The sold  out event with more than 430 in attendance also honored Vince Naimoli with the 2015 "Clutch Hitter Award".   Naimoli led the group that was awarded a Major League Baseball franchise for Tampa Bay in 1995 and began playing in 1998. 

The Clutch Hitter Award was presented by John Higgins, the Rays Sr. Vice President and General Counsel and first employee of the team.   Don Zimmer was the first recipient of the Clutch Hitter Award. The Team MVP Award is now named in his honor.  His widow Soot Zimmer was in attendance.

"This has to be the most fun annual fundraiser in Tampa Bay" said Joe Bourdow, Clutch Hitters Chairman.  "We are proud to have now raised over $125,000 towards the great community work of the Rays Foundation".

David Feaster led this year's Event Committee.        


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