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Negro Leagues
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Negro Leagues Legacy

The Legacy Awards
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum honors young MLB stars
By Chris Shaeffer/

NL Rookie of the Year, Dontrelle Willis, accepted the Larry Doby Award at the fourth annual Legacy Awards in Kansas City.
KANSAS CITY -- The weather outside may have been dank and dreary, but that hardly deterred the celebration inside the Gem Theatre at the fourth annual Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Legacy Awards dinner.

In the legendary 18th and Vine district of Kansas City, a hotbed for jazz and baseball, a capacity crowd gathered to pay tribute to the heroes of the old Negro Leagues, while honoring some of today's Major League stars.

Florida's Dontrelle Willis, NL Rookie of the Year and Kansas City's Angel Berroa, the AL Rookie of the Year started the evening by receiving the Larry Doby Award.

Willis was an integral part of the Marlins drive for their second world championship in 2003.

"I appreciate the opportunity to be here and to receive this award," Willis said. "It's a real honor for me."

Berroa spearheaded the Royals' resurgence as the club recorded its first winning season since 1994.

"Thank you first to God for allowing me the opportunity to play baseball and then to the people in front of me, Tony Peña (Royals manager), Allard Baird (Royals GM) and the rest of my squad," Berroa said.

The Marlins' Juan Pierre and Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford received the James "Cool Papa" Bell award, which goes to the stolen base champions in each league.

Pierre received his second Bell award after leading the Majors with 63 stolen bases in Florida's championship campaign.