New York Sportscene was on the scene at the 39th Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner on Tuesday, February 5, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City to benefit AHRC New York City Foundation which assists children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
New York Yankees standout shortstop Didi Gregorius, Yankees manager and 2003 ALCS hero Aaron Boone, Yankees rookie sensation Miguel Andujar, 1969 New York Mets World Series champion Ed Kranepool (in celebration of the 50th Anniversary), and New York Football Giants two-time Super Bowl champion Zak DeOssie will each receive Thurman Munson Awards.
Notable news from the press conference:
Yankees manager Aaron Boone answered questions and talked about the offseason and plans for the upcoming season.
Regarding Didi Gregorius’ absence for the first half of the season, Boone suggested the team has plans to play Tulowitzki at shortstop on most days while Gleyber Torres could shift over to shortstop sometimes.
Boone also addressed the comments that Aaron Judge made during Super Bowl weekend about shifting to centerfield if the Yankees were to sign Bryce Harper. Boone suggested that Aaron would do a lot of things for the team but he thinks that Judge was just having some fun with the media at the Super Bowl.
Boone also said that Gary Sanchez is still recovering from left shoulder surgery and that they will probably take it easy with him early in Spring Training.
Regarding the pitching staff, Boone said that trading for James Paxton helped rebuild the pitching staff early during offseason which was a great move.
Overall, Boone feels that the Yankees are a complete team right now.
Didi Gregorius was all smiles as he mingled with Diana Munson and he was also happy to answer some questions to the media. When he was asked when he plans to return to the field following his offseason elbow surgery, he joked April but stated that he has no clue and the team is taking a wait and see approach until he everything is cleared.
Although there is not a clear timetable, many expect Didi back by mid-summer. Didi was also asked what he thought about the team’s potential pursuit of Manny Machado and Didi remained poised as he suggested that anything that would make the team better has his support.
Miguel Andujar was also all smiles as he answered questions. He also said that he would be happy if the team added Manny Machado and that regardless, he has been working on his defense during the offseason – specifically agility and coordination drills. He is focused and ready for the upcoming season.
Zach DeOssie, former NY Giants long snapper was honored and it was highlighted that he and his father hold the NFL record for only father-son duo to both win Super Bowls with the same franchise while playing. He also noted that he is just finished his 12th year in the NFL which matches his father’s playing career. He then joked that he looks forward to playing next year and surpassing his dad.
Ed Kranepool was also honored during the event and in celebration of the 50 year anniversary of the 1969 Mets and there was a mini reunion of sorts as Ron Swoboda, Ed Kranepool and Art Shamsky all mingled at the event.
About the Event
The gala remembers the late great Yankees captain and catcher Thurman Munson and has raised more than $16 million for the AHRC NYC Foundation which supports programs that enable children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead richer, more productive lives. Thurman’s widow Diana Munson will attend her 39th consecutive benefit, having been involved in the dinner since its inception.
The Thurman Munson Awards are presented annually for success and inspiration on the fields of play, and community spirit off the field.
Writing Credit: Bryan Revello of NYSportscene.com
Bonus Footage – Enjoy Watching the Press Conference!