Twins honor area coaches with Diamond Awards

December 4th, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins continued their commitment to honoring impactful members of the Minnesota baseball community by naming two additional recipients of their 2019 Diamond Awards on Wednesday.

Decorated University of Minnesota head baseball coach John Anderson will receive the Herb Carneal Lifetime Achievement Award, and Joe Kreger, a longtime leadership figure in the Green Isle, Minn., baseball community, will be honored with the Terry Ryan Play Ball! Minnesota Award, as voted on by the Diamond Awards Committee, local baseball writers and the Twins.

Anderson and Kreger will be recognized alongside other previously named recipients of this year's Diamond Awards at the annual awards banquet in partnership with the University of Minnesota Foundation on Jan. 23, 2020. All proceeds from the 15th annual Diamond Awards and the associated silent auction will go toward research and patient care in ALS, ataxia, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

Anderson, 64, has been head coach of the Golden Gophers baseball program since 1981 and is not only the winningest coach in school history with his 1,317-887-3 record, but he also owns the record for most overall wins and conference wins while coaching at a Big Ten university. A native of Hibbing, Minn., Anderson is an eight-time Big Ten Coach of the Year and has led the University of Minnesota to 11 regular-season Big Ten titles, 10 Big Ten Tournament titles and 19 appearances in the NCAA tournament.

He has been a member of the Gopher baseball community for 45 years, starting as a player in 1974-75 before he served as a student assistant, graduate assistant, assistant men's coach and finally head coach. Anderson is already a member of four organizations' halls of fame: the American Baseball Coaches Association, University of Minnesota "M" Club, Minnesota High School Baseball Coaches Association and Hibbing Community College.

Kreger was elected mayor of Green Isle, Minn., in 2016 after he played, managed and umpired youth and amateur baseball from 1966-2014 and served on the Green Isle Baseball Board for nearly 40 years in the community around 50 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis. Kreger has also served as president and secretary of the Crow River Valley League and as a director on the Minnesota State Baseball Board and was inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009.

2019 Minnesota Twins Diamond Awards honorees

Calvin R. Griffith Award (Most Valuable Twin): Nelson Cruz
Joseph W. Haynes Award (Pitcher of the Year): Taylor Rogers
Carl R. Pohlad Award (Outstanding Community Service): Nelson Cruz
Bill Boni Award (Outstanding Rookie): Luis Arraez
Jim Kaat Award (Defensive Player of the Year): Byron Buxton
Charles O. Johnson Award (Most Improved Twin): Mitch Garver
Mike Augustin Award (Media Good Guy): Kyle Gibson, Texas Rangers
Bob Allison Award (Leadership): Nelson Cruz
Dick Siebert Award (Upper Midwest Player of the Year): Nick Anderson, Tampa Bay Rays
Kirby Puckett Award (Alumni Community Service): Justin Morneau
Sherry Robertson Award (Minor League Player of the Year): Trevor Larnach
Jim Rantz Award (Minor League Pitcher of the Year): Randy Dobnak
Herb Carneal Award (Lifetime Achievement): John Anderson
Terry Ryan Play Ball! Minnesota Award: Joe Kreger