Former Gamecock pitcher named best Yankees rookie
The New York Yankees today announced that former Gamecock right-handed pitcher Clarke Schmidt is the recipient of the 2020 James P. Dawson Award, given annually to the most outstanding Yankees rookie in spring training.
Schmidt, 24, made four official spring training appearances (one start), posting a 2.57 ERA (7.0IP, 2ER) with 8K. The El Toro, Calif., native was selected by the Yankees in the first round (16th overall) of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft. He entered the 2020 season tabbed by Baseball America as the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect and as having the “Best Curveball” among all Yankees farmhands.
The award was established in honor of James P. Dawson (1896-1953), who began a 45-year career with The New York Times as a copy boy in 1908. Eight years later, he became boxing editor and covered boxing and baseball until his death during spring training in 1953.
Two winners of the honor, Tony Kubek in 1957 and Tom Tresh in 1962, went on to win the American League “Rookie of the Year” Award. The Dawson Award first was presented to rookie Norm Siebern by Manager Casey Stengel in St. Petersburg, Fla., at the conclusion of spring training in 1956. New York Yankees beat writers vote on the winner.
In conjunction with the award, Schmidt will receive a watch from Betteridge Jewelers.