Orlando Muñoz, the Dominican Summer League Phillies-White manager and Venezuela camp coordinator, has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the John Vukovich Award, the club announced today.
Muñoz joined the Phillies player development staff in 2017 in his current position. He has been among the first instructors for dozens of Venezuelan and Dominican players entering the Phillies system in his five years with the organization.
“For a lot of these players, he was the first person to show them what it means to be a Philadelphia Phillie and that is one of the reasons he was chosen for this award,” said Phillies Assistant General Manager Jorge Velandia. “Orlando has been an incredible worker, brings passion to the game and has truly impacted our organization. He is humble, has a tremendous ability to communicate with players and teach the game the right way. He is always positive and is someone who leads by his actions. Our organization couldn’t be happier to give him this incredible award, recognizing him not only as a coach but as a person.”
A former infielder who played six seasons in the California Angels system, Muñoz coached and managed for 20 years in the Venezuelan Winter League and Italian Baseball League from 1997-2016, just prior to joining the Phillies. During his days playing in the Venezuelan Winter League for Águilas del Zulia, he was under the tutelage of both Manny Trillo and Ruben Amaro Sr., and played alongside Ruben Amaro Jr. and Velandia.
The 2021 John Vukovich Award will be presented on the field Monday, Sept. 20, prior to the 7:05 p.m. game against the Baltimore Orioles. The award was established in 2007 to honor Vukovich, the longest-tenured coach in Phillies history (17 seasons) and one of the most respected persons to ever wear a Phillies uniform. It is presented annually to an instructor in the Phillies organization who embodies the characteristics of the award’s namesake: loyalty, dedication, competitiveness, knowledge, honesty and a terrific work ethic. Vukovich, who spent 30 of his 41 years in baseball with the Phillies, passed away in March 2007.
Past winners of the John Vukovich Award have been Ramon Henderson (2007), Bill Dancy (2008), Roly deArmas (2009), Mike Compton (2010), Greg Legg (2011), Carlos Arroyo (2012), Manny Amador (2013), Sal Rende (2014), Steve Schrenk (2015), Larry Bowa (2016), Doug Mansolino (2017), Rafael DeLima (2018) and Ernie Whitt (2019). The award was not given in 2020.