Eversgerd tops in Cards player development
Every March, St. Louis Cardinals farm director John Vuch makes a special announcement at the organization's minor league spring training orientation meeting as camp opens in Jupiter, Florida. The subject is the winner of the George Kissell Award for excellence in player development across the Cardinals organization. The selection for 2012 is new Memphis pitching coach Bryan Eversgerd, who held the same job with Springfield the prior two seasons. The Double-A Cards won the 2012 Texas League championship. Eversgerd, 44, began his coaching of young Cardinals in 2001 at A-Advanced Potomac and later was the pitching coach at Class-A Peoria and Quad Cities. He served as hitting coach in Springfield from 2008 to 2009 before moving back to pitching coach with the 2010 Palm Beach club. The Illinois native first joined the Cardinals back in 1989 as a non-drafted free agent. The left-handed pitcher made his MLB debut with the 1994 Cardinals, and then pitched for Montreal and Texas before returning to St. Louis from 1998 to 2000. The Award is the top recognition any member of the player development organization could receive and remains an annual reminder of the importance of George Kissell to generations of Cardinals. the late George Kissell Kissell essentially wrote the book that defines "The Cardinal Way" as a player, manager and teaching leader of the organization from 1940 until he passed away in the fall of 2008 due to injuries suffered in an automobile accident. The Cardinals recognized Kissell's importance long before his untimely passing, first establishing the Award in 1995 to recognize a member of the organizational staff for excellence in player development. Not surprisingly, Kissell himself received the first Award. The winner is chosen through voting by the Cardinals minor league field staff, with the peer recognition making it all the more meaningful. Congratulations to the George Kissell Award winner for 2012, Bryan Eversgerd. George Kissell Award winners 2012 Bryan Eversgerd Springfield (AA) pitching coach 2011 Steve Turco Gulf Coast League (SS-R) manager 2010 Mike Shildt Johnson City (SS-R) manager 2009 Chris Maloney Memphis (AAA) manager 2008 Mark DeJohn Batavia (SS-A) manager 2007 Dan Radison Minor league hitting instructor 2006 Chris Maloney Springfield (AA) manager 2005 Ron "Pop" Warner Palm Beach (A-Adv) manager 2004 Blaise Ilsley Tennessee (AA) pitching coach 2003 Mark DeJohn Tennessee (AA) manager 2002 Danny Sheaffer Peoria (A) manager 2001 Dyar Miller Memphis (AAA) pitching coach 2000 Gaylen Pitts Memphis (AAA) manager 1999 Mark Riggins Minor league pitching coordinator 1998 Joe Pettini Minor league field coordinator 1997 Mark O'Neal Memphis (AAA) athletic trainer 1996 Bo Milliken Minor league pitching instructor 1995 George Kissell Senior field coordinator Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter. © 2013 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.