FRESNO, Calif - Jack Hannah will be named the recipient of the 2014 Al Radka Award at the Fresno Grizzlies 53rd Anniversary Hot Stove Gala on Tuesday, February 4th at Pardini's Catering and Banquet Hall that features San Francisco Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt as the featured guest and keynote speaker. Jack Labosky of Clovis North High School and Claire Stucker of Bullard High School will be named Gus Zernial Male and Female Player of the Year, respectively. The Clovis North Broncos' baseball team will be recognized as Team of the Year, while Selma baseball coach John Hollett will be awarded Coach of the Year. All award winners will be present and honored individually at the Hot Stove Gala.
Hannah began to grow his roots in the San Joaquin Valley at age three when his family moved to Visalia, California. He grew into a three-sport standout (baseball, football and basketball) at Visalia High and went on to attend Fresno State where he spent three seasons on the varsity baseball team. His success in college and with various independent leagues led to him signing a professional contract with the Milwaukee Braves in 1955. Upon the completion of his seven-year playing career, Hannah returned to the Valley and spent 16 seasons as a coach where he won two Valley titles, five North Yosemite League championships and a 1980 California Coach of the Year honor. Hannah is a 1957 graduate of Fresno State, a 1996 inductee to the Fresno State Baseball Hall of Fame, a 1998 inductee to the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame and has won numerous music awards in his Western family band Sons of the San Joaquin.
"Jack is an exceptional example of someone who has dedicated their energy to enhancing the Valley community," stated Fresno Grizzlies President Chris Cummings. "His personal accomplishments and the impact he has had with area youth are signature reasons why he was chosen for the 2014 Al Radka Award."
Labosky batted .437 as the cleanup hitter and went 11-0 with a 0.81 ERA last season for Clovis North to earn the 2013 Fresno Bee Baseball Player of the Year Award. His efforts helped the Broncos to a 27-6 overall record, a No. 5 Cal-Hi Sports State Ranking, and the first Valley Championship in school history. Committed to Duke University, the third baseman/pitcher also succeeds in the classroom where he carries a 3.6 GPA into the final months of his senior year.
Stucker quickly made her mark at Bullard High School when she broke the school's all-time career home run record as a sophomore in 2012. Heralded as one of the best softball players in the state of California, the Mississippi State commit and 2013 Fresno Bee Outstanding Softball Hitter of the Year finished her junior season with a .528 batting average, a team single-season record nine home runs and 41 RBI.
The Clovis North Broncos' baseball team secured their first ever Central Section Division I title in 2013 when they defeated Stockdale 13-2 in the championship game. The Broncos, led by coach Chris Patrick, finished the year with a 27-6 record and a No. 5 Cal-Hi Sports State Ranking.
Hollett led the Selma High baseball team to a 2013 Division IV Central Section Championship. With an overall record of 20-10-2, Hollett secured his second championship with Selma (last, 2007) and the seventh overall in school history.
For information on available tickets to the February 4th Fresno Grizzlies 53rd Anniversary Hot Stove Gala, please contact Whitney Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE AL RADKA AWARD
Established in 2003, the Al Radka Award is named after the man who was the creator and host of the Fresno Hot Stove League Dinner for 32 years (1948-1979). Al Radka grew the Hot Stove event to 2,600 guests and was able to recruit some of the greatest names in baseball to volunteer to speak, such as Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, and Gene Autry.