Two individual awards were handed out during the championship ceremonies at the Minnesota American Legion State Tournament. The Fred Wannamaker award to the Most Valuable Player was awarded to Tri-City Red’s John Solfest. The Rob Wassenaar award to the Outstanding Pitcher was awarded to Wayzata’s Sam Westermeyer. Buffalo won the sportsmanship award.
Fred Wannamaker Award
Tri-City Red’s John Solfest won the Fred Wannamaker award that is presented each year to the American Legion Baseball player who, in the opinion of a special selection committee, was the outstanding player of the Minnesota Division I American Legion Baseball Tournament.
Solfest was productive at the plate, on the mound, and in the field to propel his team to their second straight state title.
Solfest hit .333 for the tournament going 6-18 with 2 doubles, a homerun, and 4 RBI. He posted an impressive 1.040 OPS. In the field, Solfest was perfect on all eleven of his chances in the field and the shortstop also had 10 putouts and was in on a double play.
On the mound, Solfest worked 8 innings in the tournament including a complete game one-hitter against Edina. In that game he had five strikeouts allowed one hit and walked one. He did not allow a run and his team earned the 2-0 win. Solfest picked up a save in relief as well working one inning against Mankato National. He didn’t allow a hit and walked one.
The Trophy is presented in memory of the longtime Secretary of the American Legion State Baseball program in Minnesota. While the excellence of a team’s play is the sum of the efforts of all of its players.
Rob Wassenaar Award
Wayzata's Sam Westermeyer was awarded the Rob Wassenaar Award that recognizes the player that delivers the most outstanding pitching performance during the annual Division I State Tournament.
Westermeyer pitched a critical 6 ⅓ innings in his team’s 4-2 win over Tri-City to help earn his team a berth to the regional tournament in Dickinson, ND.
The Award was created in 2013 and was named after an outstanding citizen and former American Legion pitcher. Edina’s Rob Wassenaar was a member of the 1983 National Championship team and compiled a 27-0 record on the mound in American Legion baseball. He was a member of the 1983 World Series Championship team and also won the Fred Wannamaker Award two consecutive seasons (1982 and 1983).