Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Coghlan named NL's top rookie

From MLB-

It's been more than eight years since that fateful summer of 2001, when Chris Coghlan's father was killed just days before the Marlins infielder-turned-outfielder's 16th birthday.

On Monday afternoon, when he was named the winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award for the National League, Coghlan couldn't help but think of his dad, Tim Coghlan, and how he must be beaming with pride about his son right now.

"I know my dad is watching from heaven with a smile on his face," Coghlan said. "It makes me smile outside and inside, because he was the one who instilled the work ethic in me and taught me the game."

A lot of tears were shed when Coghlan suddenly lost his father in a fatal car accident. But there were plenty of smiles to go around on this day.

This was the day Coghlan's astonishing adjustments to a new fielding position and spot in the lineup received its due diligence, the day everything he's been taught about baseball throughout his entire young life -- lessons from coaches, teammates and, of course, his dad -- came to fruition.

With Monday's announcement by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Coghlan -- the Marlins' prized prospect from Tarpon Springs, Fla. -- joined American League winner Andrew Bailey of the Athletics, other Marlins honorees in Dontrelle Willis (2003) and Hanley Ramirez ('06), and former ROY winners like Ryan Howard, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki.

Time will tell whether this award vaults him onto a career path as successful as those of Howard, Jeter, Pujols and Suzuki. But Coghlan isn't one to get ahead of himself.

More here-


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