CORPUS CHRISTI - Miller's Jared Cruz is the ninth recipient of the Matt Beveridge Award, annually conferred on a Coastal Bend high school baseball player who exemplifies character, courage, leadership, and spirit.
Cruz will be recognized at next Thursday's South Texas Winter Baseball Banquet. Site is the Omni Hotel and tickets are on sale at the Whataburger Field Box Office. To order by phone, call 361-561-HOOK (4665). The event is presented by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and iHeartMEDIA.
Cruz, a junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman, is only the second 11th grader to earn a Beveridge Award, joining former Flour Bluff first baseman Rivers Ewing (2013). In 2016, Cruz won New Balance's Game Changer Award and an accompanying $10,000 college scholarship. Major League players Jose Altuve, Jose Bautista, Xander Bogaerts, and Joey Gallo comprised the judges' panel.
Through Miller's National Honor Society, Cruz became a volunteer with the Miracle League of Corpus Christi and designated that organization for $5,000 in equipment from New Balance. As a member of the Miller Key Club, Cruz was part of an effort to donate over 100 Teddy Bears to cancer-stricken children during the Christmas season.
The Buc baseball team also helped prepare and serve meals on Christmas Eve for Corpus Christi's H-E-B Feast of Sharing at the American Bank Center, plus collected stuffed animals for distribution to patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Cruz, ranked fourth in the Miller Class of 2018, owns a 4.0145 grade-point average. He is involved in student council, robotics, and the National Hispanic Institute. Cruz is a member of Most Precious Blood Catholic Church.
He played for the 2013 Universal Little League All-Stars, who advanced to the Little League World Series at Williamsport, Pa.
The Beveridge Award comes with a scholarship from Mrs Baird's.
Eight years ago, the Corpus Christi Hooks established the award to honor the life and legacy of one of the Coastal Bend's most beloved and respected high school athletes.
Matt Beveridge excelled in both football and baseball for the King Mustangs. He had a heart for God, his family, church, and teammates.
Following his junior year, Matt was diagnosed with cancer. Through two years of treatment, Matt showed tremendous courage battling the disease, inspiring everyone around him.
Matt Beveridge Award Winners
2009 - Cole Dombroski, Flour Bluff
2010 - Dalton Conway, Rockport-Fulton
2011 - Ervin Polasek, Gregory-Portland
2012 - Alan Scott, Bishop
2013 - Rivers Ewing, Flour Bluff
2014 - Tim Rogers, Gregory-Portland
2015 - Robert Morin, Karnes City
2016 - Cooper Wildman, Banquete
2017 - Jared Cruz, Miller
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.