Oklahoma City wrapped up the home portion of its season Thursday night with a 4-3 extra innings win over New Orleans. Through 72 home games you get to know most of the players pretty well. While this season wasn’t as successful in terms of wins and losses, it was a fun group to cover. Here is some of the best of 2009.
2009 Man of the Year: Royce Huffman, Infielder
Huffman was an iron man for the RedHawks this season, never landing on the DL once. He had the usual bumps and bruises but makes up for it with his work ethic. I’ve never seen a player spend as much time stretching as Huffman does.
But beyond his .295 average and 50 something RBIs, Royce is a genuinely good guy who never once grumbled when asked for an interview and oh yeah, he agreed to get a pie in the face from Kevin Richardson for a story in the Oklahoman earlier in the summer.
2009 Player of the Year: Esteban German, Infielder
German and his Bentley have gone to Arlington and for good reason, he’s earned it. Talking to manager Bobby Jones tonight he seemed most satisfied in seeing German who is known as “Poppy” around the clubhouse get another shot in the majors. He may not stick next year, but he had a heck of a year leading the team in just about every offensive category.
2009 Moment of the Year
Luis Mendoza’s no hitter. Mainly because nobody saw it coming. Mendoza gutted out the last two innings barely hanging on, but getting job done. Even better, his parents were in town from Vera Cruz, Mexico, one of their few trips to see their son play each year. Like Huffman, Mendoza is a friendly and accommodating, even on the bad nights. It was moving to see him throw a no hitter, something many pitchers never do.