Some time ago we announced the establishment of the Watching Durham Bulls Baseball Moonlight Graham Award. As noted at the link, the award is named in honor of North Carolinian Archibald “Moonlight” Graham. Graham had a notably brief appearance with the New York Giants in 1905. He achieved greater fame through W. P. Kinsella’s novel Shoeless Joe and the film Field of Dreams; and has achieved book-length attention in Friedlander and Reising’s Chasing Moonlight.
The Moonlight Graham Award goes to the player who spent the least amount of time as a Durham Bull in a given year. Here are the criteria.
- Cannot be on a major league rehab assignment.
- Must be spotted in a Durham Bulls uniform.
- Tie-breaker: Number of plate appearances vs. number of games.
- Must be a legitimate pitcher, not a position player out there just to finish a game because the bullpen’s empty.
- Not on rehab assignment.
Our problem for 2009 is whether or not to include the playoff game appearances. We decided that we would.
Candidates for the position player award.
- Infielder Matt Hall had two short stints with the Bulls early in the season. He finished out the year with the Charlotte Stone Crabs. With the Bulls he appeared in 8 games and had 21 plate appearances.
- Second baseman Sean Rodriguez came to the Bulls following the Rays’ trade of Scott Kazmir to the California Angels. Rodriguez only played in 5 games in the regular season, but he played in all 9 of the post-season games.
- Chris Mason came up from Montgomery early in the year and got in 4 innings. For those of you who are following Chris’ career, you might be interested to know that he finished out the season in AAA as a Buffalo Bison with a 1-1 record as a starter.
- Michael Wlodarczyk, however, edges out Mason with only 2 innings in the regular season. and 1 ⅓ innings in the playoffs.
We know we rigged the rules, but honorable mention must be given to the position players who stepped to the mound for the Bulls this year. They include Matt Hall (1 inning), Craig Albernaz (1 inning), Alex Jamieson ( 1 ⅔ innings), and Ray Olmedo (2 innings).
And the winners for 2009 are:
Matt Hall and Mike Wlodarczyk