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The Dontrelle Willis award goes to the Most Valuable Player on the team. 

The Dontrelle Willis award is the first award we established and is actually called the Dontrelle Willis Spirit Award. It goes to the individual who displays integrity, fairness, responsibility, determination, cooperation, and pride of self and community. Over the years it has generally been considered of as our most valuable player award. Dontrelle Willis was on our 1996 team when we hosted at the College of Alameda and on our 1997 team that went to Japan. He pitched and played first base at Encinal and was in our Babe Ruth program for six years.

He was an excellent left handed hitter and had remarkable success as a major league pitcher when he first came into the majors. He went on to play for the Marlins, Diamondbacks, Tigers and Reds. He was the National League rookie of the year in 2003 for the Florida Marlins with a 14-6 record and a 3.30 ERA, helping the Marlins win the World Series. He was one of the best pitchers in the league in 2003-5.  He was selected for the all-star team in 2003 & 2005 and was the runner-up for the Cy Young award in 2005.  When we established the award in 2005, it seemed natural to name it after him. 

The Katlyn Gillman award goes to the Most Inspirational Player on the team.

The Katlyn Gillman Memorial Award was established later and goes to the player who serves as an inspiration to others through his good sportsmanship and selfless teamwork. We call it our most inspirational player award. Katlyn Gillman had 3 players go through our program, and was on our Alameda Babe Ruth Board until her untimely death from cancer. She was a tireless worker and an inspiration to us. When we really needed something to be done, we’d call Katlyn, and she got it done.

The main example that comes to mind is the last day of the World tournament in Fresno in 2005. We were ready to go home when the Italy managersays in his broken English “We go to Alameda home stay for a few days, OK”. We were shocked that he had not mentioned it weeks before. We said have to check. We called Katlyn Gillman, who was home in Alameda. She said she’d find homes somehow. She immediately got on the phone and starting finding home stay for the Italian players. When we got home we went to her house. She was still on the phone getting the last home stay. The five Italian coaches stayed with Mark and Katlyn Gillman. She was a remarkable lady.


2005 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:     Mark Severy

2006 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:     Gene Felise

2007 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:     Tim Lee
2007 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:      Matt Schopf

2008 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:     Daniel Skinner
2008 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:      Casey Jennings

2009 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:      Trent Yee and Kyle Leong
2009 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:       Cameron Look

2010 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:      Byron Buckley
2010 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:       Connor Finn

2011 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:      Erik VanWinkle
2011 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:       Sean Cunningham

2012 No Team

2013 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:      Matt Esparza
2013 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:       Julian Pelzner

​2014 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:      Bronson Lee
2014 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:       Austin Stenstedt

​2015 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:      Kevin Clancy
2015 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:       Jake Gibbons

2016  No Team
2017 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:      Max Nyrop
2017 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:       Niko Lombardi
2018 Dontrelle Willis Award WInner:     Francisco Romero
2018 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:       Kiki Aguirre 
2019 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:      Malachi Francois
2019 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:       Owen Firestone
2021 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:      Asher Bashan
2021 Katlyn Gillman Award WInner:      Kai Shimp
2022 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:      Leo Paredes
2022 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:       Zachary Lopez
2023 Dontrelle Willis Award Winner:      Justice Reed
2023 Katlyn Gillman Award Winner:       Zach Pippen