09/07/2007 3:03 PM ET
Takashi Saito named winner of the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award" for August
Takashi Saito of the Los Angeles Dodgers was selected as the winner of the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award" for August, it was announced today. This officially-sanctioned Major League Baseball (MLB) award recognizes the most outstanding relief pitcher during each month of the regular season.
Saito was 10-for-10 in save opportunities in August, tying him with Jose Valverde of the Arizona Diamondbacks for most saves in the Major Leagues. He finished with a 0.68 ERA and allowed only one earned run in 14 games. The right-hander struck out 21 batters over 13.1 innings pitched while only surrendering seven hits. The closer has not allowed a run in his last 12 appearances, spanning 11.1 innings. For the season, Saito is 1-0 with 37 saves, 71 strikeouts and a 1.29 ERA in 56 games. His ERA is the lowest in the Majors among pitchers with at least 50.0 innings pitched. This is the first DHL Delivery Man of the Month award for the 2007 National League All-Star.
In recognition of this honor, DHL will donate $1,500 to Belmont High School in Los Angeles, CA, in Saito's name. This donation will be made in conjunction with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF), a joint initiative of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. With this donation, Belmont High School will have the opportunity to purchase a pitching machine package from ATEC, the official supplier of pitching machines and other training equipment for MLB. In addition, Saito will be recognized in a special advertisement in USA Today next week.
The "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award" winner is selected by a special Major League Baseball "yellow-ribbon" panel that includes Mike Bauman, national columnist for MLB.com; Rich "Goose" Gossage, the nine-time All-Star pitcher; Darryl Hamilton, former Major League outfielder and a member of the MLB On-Field Operations staff; Jerome Holtzman, the official MLB Historian and a member of the writer's wing of the Hall of Fame; and Bob Watson, Vice President, On-Field Operations, Major League Baseball.
At the conclusion of the season, Major League Baseball fans will have the opportunity to determine which relief pitcher had the best overall season and deserves the third-annual "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award." A list of finalists will be selected based on statistical qualifiers and fans will be able to vote for the winner online at MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball. The "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award" will be presented during the Major League Baseball postseason.
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The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is designed to promote and enhance the growth of baseball and softball throughout the world by funding programs, field improvement and equipment purchases to encourage and maintain youth participation in baseball and softball. Since its inception in 1999, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has awarded grants totaling more than $10 million, benefiting nearly 120,000 youth participating in more than 200 youth baseball and softball programs across the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. In 2007, DHL selected the Baseball Tomorrow Fund as its partner to support the growth of youth baseball and softball programs across the country through the DHL Delivery Man of the Month Award. DHL and BTF will also work together to enhance the BTF/MLB Equipment Day Initiative, an annual program conducted at MLB stadiums that encourages and facilitates the collection and distribution of new and used baseball and softball equipment to organizations in need. For more information visit www.baseballtomorrowfund.com.