FREDERICK, MD -On Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles announced Mark Blackmar as the organization's winner of the 2014 Elrod Hendricks Award. Given out annually since 1992, the award honors one player whose level of community involvement is worthy of special recognition and that truly stands out within the Orioles Minor League Organization. Blackmar will receive the award on Thursday night during a pregame ceremony at Camden Yards.
Blackmar, 22, becomes the third Key in as many years to win the Hendricks award. In 2013, Anthony Caronia received the award, while Trent Howard was recognized in 2012. Since 2004, seven Frederick players have been recognized with Orioles top minor league prize for community involvement.
During his time in Frederick, Blackmar visited the Frederick County libraries to read to children, spent time with fans at the Frederick Celtic Festival and served as a camp counselor at the Keys Youth Baseball Camp.
"Mark was always very eager to go out into the community and had a really positive attitude," said Keys Promotions Manager Christine Roy. "He was friendly with everyone and was really a pleasure to work with."
For his commitment to community service, Blackmar was honored with the Steve Bechler Award last Saturday, which recognizes the Keys player who best represents the value, character and commitment of Joel Stephens in community service.
On the same night he was recognized, Blackmar was traded to the Chicago White Sox for outfielder Alejandro De Aza. Former Keys pitcher Miguel Chalas was also involved in the trade. One of the Orioles top minor league pitchers in 2014, Blackmar finished the year with the second-best ERA (3.18) among Baltimore minor leaguers. He was also tied for fourth in wins (10). The Corpus Christi, TX native ended the year with the fifth-best ERA in the Carolina League, and was third in WHIP (1.08) and batting average against (.229).
In addition to Blackmar, the Orioles will recognize former Keys Christian Walker and Tyler Wilson on Thursday night. Walker will receive the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year award while Wilson will be recognized with the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year award.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.