Oxford, Ohio, August 1 – Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants, has won this year’s Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, sponsored by the Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity, headquartered in Oxford, Ohio. The award is presented annually by Phi Delta Theta to a Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies the giving character of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig, a member of the Fraternity’s Columbia University chapter. The award was first presented in 1955 and is permanently maintained at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
A team of representatives from Phi Delta Theta will present the award to Zito at AT&T Park on Tuesday, August 6th when the Giants take on the Milwaukee Brewers at 7:15 PM. This group includes General Council President Chris Lapple, Cal State-Northridge ’80, Executive Vice President Bob Biggs, Georgia Southern ‘76, and Founder and CEO of Dropbox Drew Houston, MIT ‘05. Among the other Phis on the field will be Iron Phi Michael Kunkel, San Diego State ‘10 and True Blue Society member Dan Morgan, UC-Riverside ’96 who were selected randomly from their respected programs.
Barry Zito, a three-time All-Star, and 2002 winner of the American League Cy Young Award, has finished in the top 10 in strikeouts in three of his nine full major league seasons in his respective league, and led the American League in starts in four of his six seasons with the Oakland Athletics. In 2012 during their World Series campaign, the San Francisco Giants won Zito’s last 14 starts — 11 in the regular season and three in the postseason. He went 7-0 with a 3.92 ERA in that regular-season stretch to finish with a 15-8 record and a 4.15 ERA. This was the second World Series that Zito helped win during his five years
in San Francisco.
Zito, a World Champion on the field is also a champion off the field. He founded Strikeouts for Troops to provide the comforts of home to war-wounded troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. Zito provides game tickets to both groups of veterans and individuals who have volunteered their time to help people who have served their country. He also raises money for wounded soldiers. In 2008, he received an award from Disabled American Veterans for his work and helped inaugurate the Barry Zito Giants Field in Stockton, California that benefits the Stockton Junior Giants League. More than 1,000 children participate in the Stockton Junior Giants League. In 2006, he received the Sporting News “Good Guy” Award and was the recipient of Dave Stewart’s Community Service Award while a member of the A’s. The Zitos support the St. Anthony Foundation, which provides thousands of meals every day to San Francisco’s hungry and homeless. They’ve been instrumental in assisting the foundation’s efforts to rebuild its dining hall. Other organizations and causes that the Zitos are involved with include the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Special Olympics, Make-A-Wish Foundation, global illiteracy, organ donation and cancer research. On January 30, 2013 Zito received the prestigious Hutch Award.
Barry Zito is only the second member of the San Francisco Giants franchise to win the Gehrig Award. Alvin Dark, the first Giant to win the award, was the inaugural winner of the award in 1955. Dark is also a member of Phi Delta Theta’s Louisiana Beta Chapter at Louisiana State University. He won the award when the franchise was located in New York. For detailed information about the history of the award go to www.LouGehrigAward.org.