Another day, and another accolade for KC Royals catcher Salvador Perez.
So far, Perez has been nominated this offseason for the Hank Aaron Award, the Major League Baseball Players Association’s Players Choice Award for American League Outstanding Player, a Silver Slugger, and a Gold Glove.
Perez was also nominated in September for the Roberto Clemente Award but lost out Wednesday to Minnesota’s Nelson Cruz.
And while winners of the other awards haven’t been announced yet, KC’s All-Star catcher has won the Luis Aparicio Award, which is given to the best Venezuelan player each year. After Perez’s career season, it’s no wonder he won—he slashed .273/.316/.544 to go along with leading the majors with 121 RBIs, and his 48 home runs broke Johnny Bench’s single-season record for primary catchers, tied for the major league lead, and also tied the Royals’ record for the most home runs hit in a season.
What does the Luis Aparicio Award mean for KC Royals catcher Salvador Perez?
Aparicio was a Hall of Fame shortstop who played for the White Sox, Orioles and Red Sox during an 18-year career. He broke in with Chicago in 1956 and quickly made a name for himself as a base-stealing machine, leading the American League in stolen bases through his first nine seasons. He led the majors in five of those campaigns and finished his career with 506 steals.
He is the first Venezuelan Hall of Famer.
For Perez, winning the Aparacio Award is quite an honor. According to Baseball Almanac, the award is “given annually to the Venezuelan player who recorded the best individual performance in Major League Baseball, as voted on by sports journalists in Venezuela.” Previous winners include five-time recipient Miguel Cabrera, three-time winner Jose Altuve, two-time winners Johan Santana and Ronald Acuña Jr., Félix Hernández, and Magglio Ordóñez.
Salvador Perez has won the Luis Aparicio Award.