This is a few days old, but I never got around to posting it during the GM meetings. I’ve gotten to know Mark Newman over the years, and I was happy to see him chosen for this kind of award. The Yankees have really built themselves a strong minor league system, and Newman deserves a lot of that credit.
Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award
Mark Newman, New York Yankees Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations
The Bender Award is presented to someone with distinguished service who has been instrumental in player development. Newman recently completed his 11th season of overseeing the drafting and acquisition of prospects for the Yankees. Entering the 2010 season, more than half of the players on the club’s 40-man roster were either drafted or signed as non-drafted free agents.
“There are some exceptional people that are in this industry that do great work,” Newman remarked. “I always assume some other people deserve recognition. I am certainly honored by it, but surprised.”
“Mark Newman’s résumé is virtually unparalleled in player development,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said. “The success of the Yankees farm system is often overshadowed by their storied success at the Major League level. You cannot overlook the long list of league championships and Major League players produced under Mark Newman’s watch with the Yankees. Mark epitomizes the characteristics of Chief Bender in producing players and a winning atmosphere for the organization.”
Newman has been with the Yankees for 22 years. He joined the organization in 1989 as Coordinator of Instruction, responsible for supervising all Minor League managers and coaches and planning Major and Minor League spring training.
He was promoted to Director of Player Development and Scouting in 1996 and then to Vice President of Player Development and Scouting a year later.
Oakland Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman received the award last year. Minnesota Twins Senior Director of Minor League Operations Jim Rantz was honored as the first Bender Award recipient in 2008.