PHOENIX -- Eduardo Escobar can do more than hit homers, rope triples and drive in runs. He's also an exceptional charades player while wearing an inflatable turkey suit.
Dressed like the popular Thanksgiving dish, the D-backs infielder bested teammate Ketel Marte by acting out words and phrases in one of the many funny moments at the ninth annual D-backs Most Valuable Partner Awards on Thursday night at the Ovations Live Showroom at Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino.
It was Escobar's first time at the event that recognizes the D-backs' corporate partners, such as Cox and Phoenix Children’s Hospital, which received the top MVP Awards.
“Great people, important people, I’m so happy to be here,” Escobar said. “I’m having a great time.”
That was evident when Escobar was pretending to lay an egg and performing limbo and salsa dances during an impressive round of charades. He didn’t leave the event without a prize, either -- bragging rights over Marte.
First, Escobar beat Marte in a game called "Shake Your Tail Feather," in which both players had a tissue box filled with feathers strapped to their lower back. The winner was the player who got more of their feathers out of the box by shaking and jumping during a set time limit, which was Escobar.
Escobar also won the game of charades with his team, composed of attendees representing several of the D-backs’ partners.
The games were part of the "Not Quite Late Night" show hosted by D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall, which has always been a popular component of the MVP Awards, and this year was no different. Hall opened the night with a monologue, then hosted the event from behind a desk in the style of popular late-night talk shows.
It was all designed to entertain the corporate partners and fans in attendance, and it proved to be successful, with smiles and laughs filling the showroom for much of the night.
"There are a lot of people here that support us throughout the years,” said catcher Carson Kelly, who was attending the event for the first time. “I’m excited to meet the people behind the scenes and that have helped us with playing baseball.”
While Escobar and Marte participated in the entertainment portion of the evening, general manager Mike Hazen, manager Torey Lovullo, Kelly and former D-backs great Luis Gonzalez helped Hall hand out awards to the D-backs’ partners on stage throughout the evening.
“It’s great, we don’t get these opportunities to show that level of appreciation, I think, during the year,” Hazen said. “The players, the staff, we try to do the best that we can, but this is a great night for that.”
Lovullo has attended this event every year since he was hired prior to the 2017 season, and he enjoys it because of the interaction with the corporate partners.
“It’s part of giving back,” Lovullo said. “This special group of people are here because they support the Arizona Diamondbacks, and when we can stop and say thank you, it’s a way for us to connect, and it’s a special night. Derrick Hall does a tremendous job of entertaining and pulling the guests in and making it feel very warm and welcome. It’s just a really warm night.”
Here are the awards that were handed out to the D-backs’ partners:
Multi-Cultural Award: Gila River Hotels and Casinos
Luis Gonzalez Community Champion Award: Insight
Brand Integration Award: Pernod Ricard
D-backs Ambassador Award: Encompass Health
Marketing Activation Award: Chase
Fans’ Choice Award: Taco Bell
Rookie of the Year: Banner Health
Lifetime Achievement Award: Fry’s Food Stores
MVP Silver Slugger Award: Phoenix Children’s Hospital
MVP Gold Glove Award: Cox