Killebrew Award Winner: Trey Vavra (Ft. Myers)

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Oct 18 2016 08:53 PM | Seth Stohs in Minor Leagues
Eight times in his career Harmon Killebrew hit 40 or more home runs. In 2016, Brian Dozier became the only other player in Minnesota Twins history to top the 40 home run mark. Killebrew led the American League in home runs six times. He also led the league in walks four times. Those of you reading a site dedicated to Minnesota Twins baseball know how great Harmon Killebrew was as a player. For many, it took his death in 2011 to realize the person he was.

Yesterday, we wrote about the Cedar Rapids recipient of the Harmon Killebrew Award. For more on the award, click here. Today we want to highlight the Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service recipient for the Ft. Myers Miracle, Trey Vavra.

Vavra was the Twins 33rd-round pick in 2014 out of Florida Southern. He hit 20 doubles for Elizabethton that summer. In 2015, he moved up to Cedar Rapids. He was hitting .346/.406/.538 (.944) through 42 games with the Kernels before his season came to an unfortunate end due to an ankle injury and subsequent surgery. He spent last offseason playing in Melbourne, Australia. He was a member of the Melbourne Aces where he played with his older brother Tanner who was the Miracle recipient of the Killebrew Award in 2015 and the Cedar Rapids recipient in 2014. The siblings played for their father, Joe, a long-time Twins coach.

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Learn much more about Trey Vavra in this Twins Daily Get To Know ‘Em article from last year.
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Vavra played in 125 games in 2016 for the Miracle. Overall, he hit .230/.316/.326 (.642) with 17 doubles and eight home runs. He was a Florida State League All-Star and, at season’s end, was named the Miracle recipient of the Killebrew Award.

We’ll be profiling all four of the 2016 Harmon Killebrew Award recipients this week. If you missed one, Check out the winners here:

Cedar Rapids Kernels: Nelson Molina
Ft. Myers Miracle: Trey Vavra
Chattanooga Lookouts:
Rochester Red Wings:
Previous Winners: 2015, 2014, 2013,

Image courtesy of Seth Stohs

The award means a lot to Vavra. “The award was great to receive. I am truly lucky to have received it! I never met Mr. Killebrew, but his reputation is something I definitely remember and take seriously.” He continued, “Great to have an award with such a highly-regarded name.”

The Ft. Myers Miracle organization does a tremendous job reaching out and staying very active in southwest Florida. Steve Gliner is the Miracle’s COO. He explained, “Having our players and staff involved in the Southwest Florida community is one of the best ways we can give back to the region that has supported the Miracle so well over the last 25 seasons. In the case of our players, we get requests for all kinds of community involvement including visiting schools and hospitals, helping kids learn the game of baseball via small camps and clinics, and having a presence at community events all throughout the year. The Minnesota Twins do a fantastic job of encouraging players to become involved in the communities in which they play. This helps us get great participation from the players and field staff all throughout the season. It means a great deal to us to be able to give back each season and throughout the year.”

Vavra was quite active throughout the season. “I ‘worked’ primarily with the Boys and Girls club and Keep On Playing in Fort Myers. We did camps every month, followed with a point of emphasis on several topics like teamwork, perseverance, honesty, etc. Marnie Schneider coordinated that and she is great at explaining everything we did! Also did things with the handicapped, helped out with kids camps, and read to kids/played catch with at the Sanibel library.”

Marnie Schneider is the director of Keep on Playing. Of Vavra’s presence at the clinics, she was quite impressed. “Trey is a man with a super big heart, who’s full of grace. Keep On Playing was fortunate to have Trey participate in each of our baseball clinics this season. Trey made such a positive impact with the kids we work with, and he was always the last one to leave our clinics, always making sure that, even if we were way over time, the kids all had a chance to play baseball and learn something. The kids all gravitate to Trey, and he is able to communicate his love for baseball through his involvement and care. Being a professional athlete is a responsibility that Trey clearly cherishes, and he understands the job comes with responsibilities. He hits it way out of the park every time, not only when he’s at bat, but when he’s volunteering his time which he does so effortlessly. He makes us all want to be better. That’s what a pro he is!”

Gliner said of the Miracle’s choice of Vavra as its Killebrew Award recipient, “Trey was a clear choice to represent the Miracle for the Killebrew Award. Trey would always volunteer his time for any community appearance we had on the calendar. When he attended these events, he was always personable and willing to help and participate in any way. He shows tremendous leadership when he shows up to an appearance. He would always immediately jump in and take charge by asking what was needed, and then take the ball and run with it. There was not an event that he would say no to.”

Vavra said he is not going to play winter ball this year. He has a plan for his offseason. “I plan on working, training, and getting my lower half as strong and quick as it was before I got injured.”

The Florida State League can be grueling for the players. The heat and humidity has a tendency to wear out players over the course of the season. It’s very rigorous physically, but can be equally difficult mentally. Yet through it all, Vavra was willing to volunteer his time and energy to helping youth in any way he could.

Gliner added, “The impact he had on the kids was just awesome to witness firsthand.”
We’ll give the final word to Marnie Schneider. “I know that Trey has influenced more than a few kids who only watched football before. He turned them into huge baseball, Twins, and Miracle fans!! Trey, simply put, is a star and exactly what we want our role models to be!”



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