Carroll, Hazen fêted in NYC during Writers' Dinner

January 29th, 2024

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It was a big Saturday night in New York City for D-backs general manager Mike Hazen and outfielder  as they each received an award at the 99th New York Baseball Writers’ Dinner.

Carroll received his NL Rookie of the Year Award, marking the first time a D-backs player has captured the award. By winning the award and being on the roster the entire season, Carroll garnered Arizona an extra pick in this year’s MLB Draft, which will be No. 31 overall.

“So many people to thank, and I’m going to do my best to thank all of them,” Carroll said in his acceptance speech, “because this is truly a team effort that I’m standing here before you today.”

Carroll mentioned his former coaches, his friends and his girlfriend for their support before turning to his family -- his mom, Pey-Lin; his dad, Brant; and his sister, Campbell, who were in attendance.

“Mom, Dad, Campbell, your sacrifices that you've made on a daily basis are truly the backbone on which I've been able to chase my dreams, and I’ll always be in debt to you for that,” he said.

Carroll also thanked his Arizona teammates, coaches, front-office personnel and staff and his agent, Joe Urbon.

During Spring Training last year, Carroll signed an eight-year, $111 million extension, a record sum for a player with fewer than 100 days of Major League service time, and Carroll took the opportunity Saturday to again thank Hazen for that.

“Haze, I’ll mention you specifically,” Carroll said. “From you taking a chance on me in the Draft five years ago to now be sharing this room with you today, [I'm] just unbelievably happy to see you recognized and your family recognized for the daily sacrifices you make for the organization.”

Hazen received the “You Gotta Have Heart” Award, which is presented to a member of the baseball community who has overcome difficult circumstances.

Hazen’s wife, Nicole, passed away in 2022 after a courageous battle with glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer.

“I want to thank the baseball writers for this award,” Hazen said. “It means a great deal to me to be able to continue to tell my wife’s story. When she was dying -- and I'm sure many people can understand this -- her greatest fear was that she was going to be forgotten. And as much as I reassured her, those are complicated conversations to have, but it's times like this that I feel like I get to continue to tell her story.”

Hazen lamented the fact that Nicole was not at his side during last year’s run to the World Series. As a diehard baseball fan, he said, it would have meant so much to her.

Hazen closed with something his eldest son Charlie, 18, wrote recently.

Charlie quoted from the lyrics from the song “The World Was Wide Enough”:

Legacy, what is a legacy?
It's planting seeds in a garden you never get to see
I wrote some notes at the beginning of a song someone will sing for me

“My mother left seeds in a garden she'll never get to see,” Charlie wrote. “Seeds of love and leadership that spread to every person she knew. My mother wrote these notes in my life, notes of leadership and love. I understand it is now my duty to sing those notes for her. I hope that in my own life, I can be the leader that she wanted me to be and embody the incredible person she was.”

The Hazens started the Nicole Hazen Fund For Hope to raise money to research glioblastoma.