Oakland, CA – A’s catcher Stephen Vogt has been named the recipient of the 2016 Dave Stewart Community Service Award.
Stewart will present Vogt with the award before tomorrow’s day game. Vogt becomes the first player in the award’s history to win the honor twice, as he was also the A’s recipient in 2015.
The Dave Stewart Community Service Award is given annually to an A’s player in recognition of charitable contributions throughout Northern California and across the nation. The award originated in 1996 in honor of Stewart’s many years of community service in the Bay Area.
“I feel really honored to be named the Dave Stewart recipient again,” said Vogt. “When your name is mentioned next to his, it’s an honor. My wife (Alyssa) and I are so blessed to give back to the community and the surrounding areas anyway we can. Getting more recognition for the school in Dublin (The School of Imagination) is why we do this.”
Vogt and his wife, are active supporters with the School of Imagination in Dublin, Calif., which provides support and services to more than 350 children, many with special needs and disabilities such as autism. Vogt makes monthly visits to the school each year and also hosts the students at the Oakland Coliseum various times throughout the season.
In addition, Vogt has supported many A’s community initiatives and programs, including the A’s PG&E “Energize Your Field” Little League field renovations, visits to local children’s hospitals and various meet-and-greets with long-time A’s fans and season ticket members, among many others.
“We got partnered with the school through the A’s and we wanted to raise awareness to special needs since most people aren’t comfortable working in this area,” Vogt said. “We didn’t think anything more than just hanging out with kids, we had no idea what it would turn into.”
One day during every homestand, Vogt and his wife attend the school and spend an hour playing with the kids chasing them around, finger painting or reading a book. The Vogt’s get to make each child feel special and hope to be a difference to more schools and kids with special needs.
“It’s so gratifying to see these kids happy despite being misunderstood in society. My daughter loves playing with these kids they’re her friends. The end goal is to get the school more awareness and help promote the cause to other schools in the East Bay.”
“That’s why our fan base loves him,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin. “That’s why he’s loved in the clubhouse. He’s not just about his team, he’s about the community as well, and he’s been that way since Day One. It’s well-deserved and not a surprise he won it again.”
Previous winners of the Dave Stewart Community Service Award include: Ernie Young (1996), Scott Spiezio (1997), Tom Candiotti (1998), Art Howe (1999), Jason Giambi (2000), Terrence Long (2001), Tim Hudson (2002), Scott Hatteberg (2003), Eric Chavez (2004), Barry Zito (2005), Mark Kotsay (2006), Mark Ellis (2007), Dana Eveland (2008), Dallas Braden and Kurt Suzuki (2009), Craig Breslow (2010), Josh Willingham (2011), Jonny Gomes (2012), Sean Doolittle (2013), Jed Lowrie (2014) and Vogt (2015).