Angels name new awards for Adenhart, Gomez.

Preston Gomez and Nick Adenhart will be further remembered by the Angels with a pair of new team awards, announced earlier today.

Here is the full text of the press release:

The Los Angeles Angels today announced the club has established two awards, which will be presented annually, honoring the memory of Nick Adenhart and Preston Gomez.

The Nick Adenhart “Pitcher of the Year” award will be given to the Angels’ pitcher whose Major League performance is selected by his teammates as the most outstanding throughout the course of the regular Championship Season.

At the same time, the “Preston Gomez Minor League Manager of the Year” award has been established to recognize one of the organization’s seven minor league manager’s for a standard of excellence in the areas of leadership, player development and professionalism exhibited throughout the course of the season. This award will be determined by members of the Angels Baseball Operations staff.

“It is important that the legacy of these two men and their impact within our organization be continued for years to come,” said Angels’ General Manager Tony Reagins. “I can think of no more important manner of doing so than by recognizing members of our baseball family in their honor.”

Both awards will be presented in pre-game ceremonies during the final regular-season homestand each year.

Adenhart, 22, along with Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson, were killed in a traffic accident April 9, shortly after the native of Silver Springs, MD pitched a masterful six innings, April 8 against Oakland (6 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 S), leaving with a 4-0 lead before a late-inning rally resulted in a 6-4 Angels defeat.

Originally drafted by the Angels in the 14th round of the June, 2004 draft, Adenhart was in his fifth professional season and made the Angels Opening Day roster for the first time. He began the 2009 campaign with a 37-28 career minor league record and a 3.87 ERA. Adenhart made his Major League debut May 1, 2008 against Oakland. At the time, he was the youngest pitcher in the majors.

Gomez, who devoted over 65 years of his life to professional baseball, passed away last January in Fullerton. He was 86.

During his career, Gomez served as a player, coach, manager, talent scout and consultant. He spent his last 28 years in baseball with the Angels, first as a major league coach and later as a special assistant to the General Manager.

A native of Havana, Cuba, Gomez began his playing career in 1944 as a 21-year-old shortstop with the Washington Senators. He was brought to the U.S. by the ballclub when major league rosters were depleted because of World War II. He batted .286 in eight games before spending the rest of his playing career in the minor leagues. Gomez had his finest season in the minors in 1951, batting .268 with nine home runs and 58 RBI for Three Rivers (PA).

After his playing career ended, Gomez first managed in the Mexican Winter League before being offered a minor league coaching position by the Dodgers. He spent eight seasons as a minor league manager in the Cincinnati, Los Angeles and New York Yankees farm systems, guiding clubs such as Fresnillo, Mexico City, Havana, Spokane and Richmond. He led the Dodgers’ Spokane club to the Pacific Coast League pennant in 1960. He also spent time coaching with Houston and St. Louis.

In 1965, Gomez became the third-base coach for the Dodgers, where he served through four seasons, earning two National league pennants and a World Series title. He left the club in 1969 to manage the expansion San Diego Padres (1969-72), joining former Dodgers’ Vice-President Buzzie Bavasi. He later managed the Houston Astros (1974-75) and Chicago Cubs (1980). Gomez compiled a 346-529 (.395) managerial record in seven seasons. He then joined the Angels’ organization in 1981 as third base coach, a position he held for four seasons (1981-84) before becoming a special assistant to the General Manager.

Born April 20, 1923, in Central Preston, Oriented, Cuba, Gomez was inducted into the Hispanic Baseball Heritage Museum Hall of Fame, May 3, 2003.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.
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