Established in 2006, the Play Ball! Minnesota Terry Ryan Award honors a member of the Upper Midwest baseball and softball community that has been a major leader at the youth level. The award acknowledges significant promotional contributions, passion, and improvement of the game in the Upper Midwest. Award winners have displayed a serious dedication to the game and its participants.
Play Ball! Minnesota's highest honor is named after former longtime Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan. The award is in honor of his passion and dedication to the promotion of youth, amateur, and professional baseball and softball throughout Twins Territory.
Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis from baseball and softball fans in Twins Territory. Each fall, the founding members of Play Ball! Minnesota select a winner. The winner is presented with the award at the annual Baseball Writers Association of America Diamond Awards along with many other prestigious Twins awards.
2022 Winner: Laura Day, Minneapolis, MN
Day, who announced in January of 2022 that she will step away from her current role at the end of the year, just completed her 27th season with the Twins, part of a prestigious career as a sports executive that has spanned nearly four decades. During her extraordinary Twins tenure, Day’s oversight and leadership of the club’s community engagement initiatives, including as a longtime member of the Minnesota Twins Community Fund (MTCF) Board of Directors, has helped bring the joy of baseball and softball to generations of youth across the region. Under her stewardship and fundraising acumen, MTCF has grown to impact 50,000 kids annually – many of whom might not otherwise have an opportunity to play – through initiatives such as the Fields for Kids renovations grant program, Play Ball! Minnesota clinics and the Twins RBI program, among others. Day’s innate ability to build lasting and positive relationships, her love of the game and her tireless efforts to build better lives for our youth also led to the development of the MTCF’s equipment and ticket donation programs, along with the recent introductions of the Twins Girls Baseball Camp, Twins Adaptive Clinics and the annual Twins High School Leadership Academy. Congratulations to Laura Day!
2021: Todd Smrekar; Cambridge, MN
2020: Corky Reynolds; Crookston, MN
2019: Joe Kreger; Green Isle, MN
2018: Paul Karst: Groton, SD
2017: Jim Pettersen; Fargo, ND
2016: Kim Niederluecke; Richfield, Minn.
2015: Craig Anderson; Pine Island, Minn.
2014: Larry Gallagher; Minneapolis, Minn.
2013: Steve Winfield; St. Paul, Minn.
2012: Jim Berbee; Minnetonka, Minn.
2011: Dale Welter; Chaska, Minn.
2010: Ed Lippert; Eden Prairie, Minn.
2009: Jim Peck; Minnetonka, Minn.
2008: Tink Larson; Waseca, Minn.
2007: Bill Peterson; St. Paul, Minn.
2006: John Wilkens; St. Michael, Minn.