SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, presented the inaugural and 2017 Chris Matthews Awards to its namesake and pitcher Ty’Relle Harris in a pre-game ceremony Friday.
The award honors those in the clubhouse who exemplify the qualities of generosity, dedication to the team and leadership that Chris Matthews showed as bench coach of the 2016 Pacific Association championship team.
“He started games, he charted games. He did laundry, he vacuumed the clubhouse. He helped organize men and served as a voice of reason and provided a stable, consistent perspective through the ups and downs of a professional baseball season,” said Stompers president and general manager Theo Fightmaster. “The Stompers have been built on the premise that we need to find good people and treat them well. Chris is quite possibly the best human being we've found so far.”
Manager Takashi Miyoshi also gave an emotional testament to Matthews’ hard work and spirit, crediting him with the clubhouse’s “winning culture.”
"I first met Yosh back in 2013 when we were both with Grand Prairie in the American Association. It completely flipped my baseball world upside down. Getting someone of that caliber to take me under his wing and guide me around was a huge blessing," Matthews said. "I'm very humbled by this."
For the impact he has made since joining the team in June, Harris was presented with the 2017 Chris Matthews Award.
“T got here and there was another grown man in the clubhouse, a fierce competitor out on the mound, someone taking everyone from the guy barbecuing hot dogs right now to Kelsie Whitmore to Mike Jackson and making them better too," Fightmaster said. "For T's spirit, his swagger, his confidence, the least of which, his performance on the baseball field, he is the 2017 Chris Matthews Award winner."
Harris thanked his teammates first for letting him be himself.
"Baseball is a sport that revolves around failure. It's easy to stress out, but it's the right group of girls and guys in the clubhouse that allows you to have success,” Harris said.
Tickets and merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. Tickets will also be available at the box office on game days, beginning 30 minutes prior to the game.
For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.