Before the Cardinals faced the Pirates at night on Aug. 20, several players and coaches made the three-hour trek to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.With it being a hot summer day, outfielder Tommy Pham knew the best way to cool down: snow cones. Pham and pitcher Carlos
Before the Cardinals faced the Pirates at night on Aug. 20, several players and coaches made the three-hour trek to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
With it being a hot summer day, outfielder Tommy Pham knew the best way to cool down: snow cones. Pham and pitcher Carlos Martinez ended up buying 200 snow cones for kids in the crowd, which earned them a nomination for Best Player-Fan Interaction in this year's Esurance MLB Awards -- and surely earned them 200 new fans.
• Vote for this season's best stars and moments in the Esurance MLB Awards
The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor MLB's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: Media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) members.
The MLB Awards are an all-inclusive program, encompassing the top players and performances from both the American and National Leagues from Opening Day through the end of the postseason.
Voting led off with seven categories on Sept. 18 at mlb.com/awards, serving as the grand entrance of a program that will unveil nominees for Best Call, TV/Radio; Best Major Leaguer, Postseason; and Best Postseason Moment following the Fall Classic's final out. The ninth inning of voting will begin around BBWAA Awards week, which opens when the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award winners are unveiled on Monday, Nov. 13. Voting for the final five categories will begin at 7 p.m. ET on the following dates:
• Best Executive: Thursday, Nov. 9.
• Best Rookie: Monday, Nov. 13.
• Best Manager: Tuesday, Nov. 14.
• Best Pitcher: Wednesday, Nov. 15.
• Best Major Leaguer: Thursday, Nov. 16.
MLB Awards season will culminate on Friday, Nov. 17, when winners are announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com starting at 8 p.m. ET.
The Cardinals ultimately lost the game later that day -- Pham walked in his only plate appearance as a pinch-hitter and Martinez did not play -- but the players' good deed certainly was a highlight for many spectators at the LLWS.
"We were hot, so why not get a snow cone?" Pham said. "It helps, I guess. There's a lot of kids."
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib.