MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, MN – Continuing to celebrate and support those who impact the game of baseball throughout our region, the Minnesota Twins today announced two additional 2019 Diamond Awards honorees, as voted on by the Diamond Awards Committee, local baseball writers and the Twins: John Anderson, the legendary University of Minnesota head baseball coach, will receive the Herb Carneal Lifetime Achievement Award, while Joe Kreger, a staple of the Green Isle, Minnesota baseball community spanning six decades, has been named the Terry Ryan Play Ball! Minnesota Award winner.
Anderson has been involved with University of Minnesota baseball for 45 years, first as a player from 1974-75, then as a student coach, a graduate assistant, an assistant coach and, since 1981, as the Golden Gophers head coach. Building upon the foundation of his mentor, the iconic Dick Siebert, and with a philosophy to prepare his players “for the next 50 years of their lives,” Anderson has made an indelible impact upon the University and the sport. An eight-time Big Ten Coach of the Year and the winningest coach in school history with a record of 1,317-887-3 (.598), Anderson has guided the Gophers to winning seasons in 36 of his 38 years at the helm, along with 24 finishes of second or better in the conference (including 11 regular season Big Ten titles), 20 tournament championship games (a conference-best 10 Big Ten tournament titles) and 19 NCAA postseason appearances. He has also mentored 328 Academic All-Big Ten selections, while coaching at least 20 future Major Leaguers (including former Twins All-Star closer Glen Perkins).
Anderson has been inducted into four different organizations’ halls of fame: the American Baseball Coaches Association (2008), the University of Minnesota “M” Club (2002), the Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Association (2013) and Hibbing Community College. Although he never coached at the high school level, Anderson was honored by the MHSBCA for his multiple contributions to high school baseball in the state, including organizing camps/clinics and fall leagues and fundraising for Siebert Field, which has hosted numerous high school games since opening in 2013. The Herb Carneal Lifetime Achievement Award is named after the Twins’ longtime radio voice (1962-2006) and 1996 Ford C. Frick Award winner.
One cannot mention baseball in Green Isle without talking about Kreger, who played, managed and umpired youth and amateur baseball from 1966-2014. A graduate of Arlington-Green Isle High School, Kreger played collegiate baseball at Minnesota State University, Mankato before returning home, where he served on the Green Isle Baseball Board for nearly 40 years. He also held prominent leadership roles in regional and statewide youth and amateur baseball, including secretary and president positions for the Crow River Valley League and as a director on the Minnesota State Baseball Board. For efforts to grow the game spanning parts of six decades, Kreger was inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009. The Terry Ryan Play Ball! Minnesota Award is named after the Twins’ former Executive Vice President and General Manager.
15th Annual Diamond Awards
The 15th annual Diamond Awards, which will also honor previously announced Baseball Writers Association Award recipients, along with the Twins Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, will be held Thursday, January 23, 2020 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at The Depot Minneapolis. All proceeds from the event will benefit the University of Minnesota’s innovative research and patient care focused on ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), ataxia, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Corporate sponsorship opportunities, tables and individual tickets are now available. For more information on the event, please visit www.minnesotadiamondawards.org or call (612) 301-8305.