Juan Pierre wins Roy Campanella Award
Juan Pierre, who filled in so ably in left field while Manny Ramirez sat out a 50-game suspension, was selected the winner of the fourth annual Roy Campanella Award, which is given to the Dodgers player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher.
The award, which was voted upon by Dodgers uniform personnel, will be presented to Pierre by Campanella’s daughter, Joni Campanella Roan, during a ceremony before Saturday's game.
Pierre, who is hitting .305 with 56 runs and 27 stolen bases in 142 games, has started 74 games overall -- 62 in left field and 12 in center field -- and made just one error in those contests. In those starts he hit .300 with 16 doubles, four triples, 41 runs scored, 27 runs batted in and 25 stolen bases.
Behind Pierre's bat and base running, the Dodgers went 29-21 while Ramirez was out of the lineup after being suspended for violating baseball's drug policy.
Over the second half of the season, the 10-year veteran has established himself as not only the Dodgers’ top pinch-hitter, but also one of the best pinch-hitters in the National League. Pierre leads the league with 12 pinch-hits since the All-Star break and in 49 pinch-hitting appearances is hitting .333 with two triples, five walks, nine runs scored and a .404 on-base percentage.
Since signing a five-year, $44-million free-agent contract with the Dodgers before the 2007 season, Pierre had been lambasted for his weak arm in the outfield, low on-base percentage and lack of power, even though he had already recorded four 200-hit seasons.
Pierre's unselfish play this season won the hearts of his teammates as well as fans.
-- Debbie Goffa
Photo: Juan Pierre. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times