Henderson named ASWA pro athlete of year

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson was named professional athlete of the year by the Alabama Sportswriters Association,

The former Morgan Academy Prep All-American is coming off a stellar first MLB season in 2023, earning American League Rookie of the Year. Henderson hit 28 homers and 82 RBI.

Henderson is considered an MVP candidate this season, second among AL home run leaders, 21, and Top 10 with RBI at 46. Henderson is also on the AL All-Star ballot.

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Henderson is the first non-NFL player to win the award since golfer Justin Thomas six years ago and first MLB player since Orioles teammate Craig Kimbrel.

Accolades in Selma and statewide already came for Henderson, His birthday, June 29, is declared Gunnar Henderson Day by the Selma City Council and gave him a Proclamation. 

Gov. Kay Ivey declared Feb. 8 as Gunnar Henderson Day. The State House and Senate recognized Henderson, The Selma Times-Journal baseball player of the year in 2019.

 “Gunnar Henderson’s accomplishments on the baseball field are already legendary,” State Rep. Prince Chestnut said. “However, he strikes me as an even more remarkable young man off the field. He is respectful, humble, and comes from a great family.”