BINGHAMTON, NY - Richard Tylicki, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and the Director of Stadium Operations for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, is the recipient of Minor League Baseball's second annual Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award. Tylicki will be honored at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, December 10 at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida.
The Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award is presented to a team or individual in Minor League Baseball for outstanding support of the United States Armed Forces and veterans, both at the ballpark and in the community. The award was created in 2016 in honor of the longtime Florida State League president and U.S. Army veteran who passed away February 21, 2015, at the age of 83. A retired Lieutenant Colonel after 21 years in the U.S. Army, Murphy broke into professional baseball in 1975 and led the Florida State League from 1990 until his passing. He received the Warren Giles Award for outstanding service as a league president in both 2011 and 1991, and the Friends of Baseball Chapel Award in 1994.
Tylicki has balanced the demands of both a military and civilian career for over two decades. He was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army National Guard in 1992, and began his tenure with Binghamton as an operations intern in 1995. He has worked as the Director of Stadium Operations for the last 23 years while simultaneously serving in the National Guard, where he is currently the Commanding Officer of over 550 men and women of the 1st Squadron, 104th Cavalry Regiment.
Tylicki's service has earned him 23 medals to date, including the Bronze Star for meritorious service in a combat zone, and the Meritorious Service Medal awarded for exceptional service in support of Command and Staff while deployed to Kuwait in 2013. Tylicki has also maintained a high level of leadership with the Rumble Ponies and is the longest-tenured employee at NYSEG Stadium, despite serving in four different overseas contingency operations (Kuwait in 2013, Egypt in 2008, Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2002).
"I am very honored to be the recipient of the Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award as Mr. Murphy was a tremendous leader who served the nation for two decades and as a league president in Minor League Baseball for over 25 years," said Tylicki. "It is truly a privilege to be associated with his good name and an honor to be recognized by Minor League Baseball and I am sincerely humbled by the recognition."
With the Rumble Ponies, Tylicki secured a sponsorship that enabled all U.S. military veterans to attend a Rumble Ponies game for free over Memorial Day Weekend, secured a 90 percent renewal rate on sponsorships and in 2017, he arranged to have the Honor Guard present the flag on the field on Memorial Day and Independence Day. Additionally, he orchestrated the dedication of a POW/MIA memorial seat at NYSEG Stadium to ensure that all service members who did not come home from battle would always be honored at the ballpark.
"Richard embodies the absolute essence of the Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award," said Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O'Conner. "His dedication and service to this country, his accomplishments with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and his efforts honoring veterans in the community are all highly admirable, and it is with great pleasure that we present him with this award on behalf of Minor League Baseball."
"Richard is the perfect choice for this award," said Binghamton Rumble Ponies Managing Director John Bayne. "His dedication to our nation and community, coupled with his 23 years of contributions to our organization, speaks volumes of Richard's work ethic, determination and loyalty."
In 2017, Tylicki served as the Commander of the Reactionary Force for the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., completed the Tactical Commanders Development Program and worked to prepare his unit for a January 2018 deployment to the Middle East.
"Richard's contributions to this organization, community, and country exemplify the spirit of what baseball is all about," said Rumble Ponies owner John Hughes. "This organization, this community and our country should be proud to have Richard as part of the team."
Tylicki is the first individual to be recognized with the Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award. In 2016, the first year the honor was bestowed, the Charleston RiverDogs organization was collectively acknowledged.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.