NORFOLK (WAVY) – Two former Major League All-Stars, one of the greatest softball pitchers in Hampton Roads history, and the head hoops coach at Norfolk State were among the honorees at the 74th Norfolk Sports Club Jamboree on Tuesday night.
Michael Cuddyer, a former National League batting champion and graduate of Great Bridge High School, was honored with a lifetime achievement award. “Yeah it’s great to be recognized and to be honored, but it goes beyond that,” said Cuddyer, who retired in 2015 after a run to the World Series with the New York Mets.
“It goes to the people that helped me achieve what I have achieved in my life and in my career, and hope to achieve post-baseball. I think the lessons and the stories that have been told to me from this community is going to help me in..being able to give back in my life after baseball.”
David Wright, a long time third baseman and captain of the New York Mets, was a keynote speaker. He played his last game in September of last year, and remembers receiving an honor from the Norfolk Sports Club when he was a youngster at Hickory High School.
“I still leaned on some of these coaches for advice (at the major league level),” said Wright. “Just grateful to be back.”
Head coach Robert Jones, who led the Norfolk State men’s basketball team to a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular season championship and an upset of top-seed Alabama in the National Invitational Tournament, was honored with the President’s Award.
Virginia Wesleyan softball pitcher Hanna Hull, a two-time national champion and two-time National Pitcher of the Year, became the first non-Division I athlete and only the fifth female ever to receive the General Douglas MacArthur Memorial Award.
“Honestly the first thing you want to do is you want to look at the list of past recipients, and as soon as I did that, I was like there’s no way. This is a mistake,” said Hull, who led her team to the Super Regional last season. “Just the incredible people that had this award before me, I just can’t begin to say how thankful I am, and honored. “