ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington was given the Sam Lacy Pioneer Award before Monday's series opener against the Orioles by the National Association of Black Journalists Sports Task Force. The organization's highest honor, the award is named after Baseball Hall of Fame sportswriter Sam Lacy, and recognizes excellence in sports. It was presented to Washington by NABJ Task Force chair Marc Spears and Morehouse College Journalism and Sports Program director Ron Thomas, who also serves as the Lacy Pioneer award program's co-chair. Past recipients of the Sam Lacy Pioneer Award include former Grambling State football coach Eddie Robinson and Brooklyn Nets head coach Avery Johnson. "Pioneers set precedents, and Ron Washington certainly has done that as the Texas Rangers' most successful manger," Thomas said. "He has proven himself worthy of an award named after Lacy, a determined black sports columnist who was instrumental in Jackie Robinson integrating Major League baseball."
Washington batted .261 over 10 seasons in the Major Leagues. He was an assistant with the A's for 11 years and is in his sixth season as the Rangers' manager, leading the team to its only two World Series appearances in franchise history. With three more victories, Washington would become the third manager in Rangers history to win 500 games, joining Johnny Oates (506) and Bobby Valentine (581).