Cubs name Minors community service winners

Cubs name Minors community service winners

CHICAGO -- The Cubs on Tuesday announced their first class of Minor League community service winners, a new set of awards to be presented annually to a player from each of the four full-season affiliates who demonstrates strong community spirit and leadership.

Right-handed pitcher Jay Jackson (Triple-A Iowa), infielder Nate Samson (Double-A Tennessee), infielder Justin Bour (Class A Daytona) and left-handed pitcher Austin Kirk (Class A Peoria) represent the inaugural class of winners.

The four players were honored prior to Tuesday's Cubs game against the Brewers.

The Iowa Cubs said Jackson "is becoming known as much for 'pitching in' around the community as he is for pitching." This season, he helped with youth baseball camps, Miracle League games, spent time with groups from the Make-A-Wish foundation and Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and visited with residents at an assisted living center.

Jackson, 23, a ninth-round pick in 2008, went 8-14 with a 5.34 ERA in 26 starts at Iowa.

Samson attended every Smokies player appearance this season. That included visits to the team's partner in education schools, Chilhowee Intermediate and Sevierville Primary, plus visits to East Tennessee Children's Hospital and to Young Williams Animal Center.

A 34th-round pick in the 2006 Draft, Samson, 24, hit .236 with 17 doubles, five home runs and 31 RBIs in 113 games with Tennessee.

The Daytona Cubs commended Bour, a 25th-round pick in 2009, for his energy as an instructor in the team's baseball camps. Bour also was an eager participant with fans during special days at and away from the ballpark.

Bour, 23, batted .277 with 30 doubles, 23 home runs and 85 RBIs in 133 games with Daytona this season.

A third-round pick in 2009, Kirk signed up for appearances with Little League teams in Peoria and accommodated all autograph seekers. The Chiefs said he was involved with the Kids Club party and did well speaking to children.

Kirk, 21, went 5-12 with a 4.29 ERA in 29 appearances (28 starts) with Peoria this season, including a no-hitter on July 4 vs. Clinton.