GREENSBORO, N.C -- Wilmington Blue Rocks pitcher Everett Teaford was selected the winner of the inaugural Matt Minker Community Service Award. Each Carolina League club was eligible to nominate one individual for consideration.
Named in honor of the late Blue Rocks team president, the award is bestowed upon the league player who does the best job of serving his club's community during each season. Minker passed away last November after a five-year battle with cancer. He was 60.
"From what I have heard, [Minker] was a great person who did a lot for the city of Wilmington and the Blue Rocks," Teaford said. "It's a great award and I'm honored to be the first winner. But getting involved in the community is not about winning an award. You should just do it to help other people."
A native of Alpharetta, Ga., Teaford has been heavily involved in serving the Wilmington community since the start of the season. The 24-year-old partook in every Blue Rocks player appearance this season, ranging from countless visits to A.I. DuPont Children's Hospital, chatting with kids at local summer camps and lending his professional expertise at the Blue Rocks baseball camp.
"Whenever I approached Everett about an appearance, his only question was 'What time do you need me?'" said Blue Rocks community relations director Dave Arthur. "It was a pleasure to see the genuine interest he took in all the young fans."
Minker was involved in the ownership of the Blue Rocks since the franchise came to Wilmington in 1993. His construction company built Frawley Stadium in five months. He became president of the club in 1995. During his 13 years representing Wilmington on the Carolina League's Board of Directors, he served the league as an officer, a member of the executive committee and as league representative on the Minor League Baseball Board of Trustees.