Duncan Named Top Yankees Rookie

This release straight from the Yankees…

The Yankees today announced that infielder/outfielder Shelley Duncan is the recipient of the 2008 James P. Dawson Award, given annually to the outstanding Yankees rookie in spring training. Duncan will receive the award in a pre-game ceremony today, prior to the Yankees’ 1:15 p.m. game vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates at the newly renamed George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Duncan, 28, batted .390 (16-for-41) this spring, with 5 doubles, 3 home runs and 14RBI in his first Major League spring training. He ranked third among AL Grapefruit Leaguers in RBI and tied for eighth in total bases (30). A second round pick by the Yankees in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, Duncan hit .257 (19-for-74) with seven home runs and 17RBI in 34 games with the Yankees in 2007 in his Major League debut.

The James P. Dawson Award was established in honor of the late sportswriter of the New York Times who died in spring training while covering the Yankees. Two winners of the award, Tony Kudek in 1957 and Tom Tresh in 1962, went on to win American League “Rookie of the Year” Awards. Last season’s winner was left-handed pitcher Kei Igawa. The award first was presented to rookie Norm Siebern by Manager Casey Stengel in St. Petersburg, Fla., at the conclusion of spring training in 1956. The New York Yankees beat writers vote on the winner.

In conjunction with the award, Duncan will receive an engraved Burberry watch from William Barthman Jewelers.

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