Army veteran and lifelong Cubs fan Patrick Mulligan is the winner of the 2014 Branch Rickey Award fan voting contest. He’ll be a special guest at the annual dinner in Denver, Nov. 14, honoring this year’s award winner Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs. Nearly 32,000 fans voted online during the contest.
Mulligan grew up 30 miles from Wrigley Field in Griffith, IN. “I’ve been a big Cubs fan for most of my life. I was 12 when I discovered daytime Cubs baseball and Harry Caray on WGN, and I was hooked for life,” Mulligan says. “I firmly believe that the Cubs chose me instead of the other way around!”
He is working toward a Masters degree in Psychology and plans to work with veterans when he graduates. He says his 3-year-old daughter keeps him inspired and focused.
Created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 1991, the Branch Rickey Award honors individuals in baseball who contribute unselfishly to their communities and who are strong role models for young people. Each year, the Major League Baseball teams are asked to nominate one player from their team for this nationally acclaimed award. All of the nominees personify Rotary International’s motto, “Service Above Self.”
All-Star first baseman Rizzo will be inducted as the 23rd member of the Baseball Humanitarians Hall of Fame™ during a banquet on Friday, Nov. 14 at the McNichols Civic Center in downtown Denver, presented by AMG National Trust Bank.
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"The thing about him [Branch Rickey] was that he was always doing something for someone else. I know, because he did so much for me."— Jackie Robinson