With a new season set to start in April, members of the 2019 Rome Braves are set to be recognized for their success and talents last season.
Rome manager Matt Tuiasosopo, along with minor league players in the Atlanta Braves’ organization, are being recognized by the Atlanta 400 Baseball Fan Club at their annual winter banquet later this month.
Tuiasosopo, in his first stint as a manager, is being given the Bobby Cox Award, which is presented to the individual that best represents the top managerial performance throughout Atlanta’s minor league system.
The awards ceremony will be part of the Atlanta 400 Baseball Fan Club’s 54th annual winter banquet and fundraiser on Jan. 25 at the Atlanta Marriott Northeast at Century Center.
A gala reception, silent auction and raffle of Braves’ memorabilia are set to begin at 5 p.m., and the awards dinner and program will follow at 6:30 p.m. The event’s emcee will be former Atlanta pitching coach Leo Mazzone.
Others being honored are former Rome Braves outfielder Trey Harris, who’s receiving the Hank Aaron Award, while Ian Anderson is receiving the Phil Niekro Award, and Thomas Burrows is being given the Bill Lucas Award.
Tuiasosopo, who played pro ball for 14 years and closed out his major league career as an Atlanta Brave in 2016, led the Rome Braves to a 65-74 record in his first season at the helm, but the team missed out on the playoffs.
Harris had a batting average of .323 across three levels in his first full season in the Braves’ organization and had 14 home runs, 26 doubles and 73 RBIs while playing for Class A Rome, high-A Florida and Double-A Mississippi. Harris played in 56 games for the Rome Braves last season.
Anderson went 8-7 last season during his time with Triple-A Gwinnett and Mississippi and finished with an ERA of 3.38 and 172 strikeouts. Anderson also pitched for the Rome Braves in 2017.
Burrows, also playing for Gwinnett and Mississippi in 2019, finished the season with a 2-4 record, an ERA of 4.42 and 63 strikeouts.
The Rome Braves will open the 2020 season under new general manager David Cross, who was named to the position in December after the departure of Jim Bishop. The Braves begin the season at home with a four-game series against the Hagerstown Suns beginning April 9.
Other awards being presented at the banquet will be the Metro Atlanta High School Player of the Year to C.J. Abrams from Blessed Trinity, and the Jason Varitek Most Outstanding Scholar Athlete in Georgia Award to UGA’s Aaron Schunk.
The Luke Appling Nostalgia Award and the Ivan Allen, Jr. “Mr. Baseball” Award will be announced at the banquet. Phil Niekro College Scholarships will be awarded to the baseball programs at Augusta University and Columbus State University.