Eversgerd tops in Cards player development

New Memphis pitching coach Bryan Eversgerd receives the George Kissell Award for excellence in player development in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

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 brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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