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Nick Kenney '94 Receives Major League Baseball's Top Athletic Trainer Award

Dick Martin Award Recognizes Kansas City Royals as the Healthiest Team During the 2011 Season

November 29, 2011

Nick Kenney is pictured in the Kansas City Royals dugout during the 2010 season. Kenney and the Royals' medical staff received the prestigious Dick Martin Award for 2011. (Photo courtesy of Chris Vleisides/Kansas City Royals)

Nick Kenney is pictured in the Kansas City Royals dugout during the 2010 season. Kenney and the Royals' medical staff received the prestigious Dick Martin Award for 2011. (Photo courtesy of Chris Vleisides/Kansas City Royals)

Wilmington College alumnus Nick Kenney and the Kansas City Royals’ medical staff received Major League Baseball’s Dick Martin Award for having the healthiest team during the 2011 season.

Kenney, a 1994 Wilmington College graduate in athletic training, completed his second year as the Royals’ head trainer. He previously held athletic training positions with the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds.

The Dick Martin Award is designed to recognize athletic trainers and other medical professionals in Major League Baseball that are involved with preventing, identifying and treating players’ injuries.

It is determined by a formula known as “Injury Cost,” which factors one-year totals for days and dollars lost to injuries. Since Kenney joined the staff, the Royals’ total dropped by more than 850 man-days-lost to injuries.

Named for the former Minnesota Twins athletic trainer, the award was first presented in 2004 and last year went to the medical staff from the Chicago White Sox. Kenney was part of the Cleveland Indians staff when that team received the award in 2007.

Athletic trainers work with players not only during spring training and the grueling 162-game season, but also during the offseason to ensure players are able to perform at the highest level.

In writing for WadeRotowire.com, writer Jeff Stotts with Will Carroll and Dan Wade

 noted that health may not be the sole determinant of a team’s success, but it is a “huge part” of the formula.

“

One of the most interesting things about the award is that it seems to be a leading indicator for future success,” they wrote. “Teams like Tampa, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia followed their awards with playoff runs and more importantly, consistent runs of contention.

“Managing both the injuries and the payroll is one of the biggest challenges in modern baseball,” the story noted. “By controlling this situation, the medical staffs of these teams have contributed greatly to success.

”

The story mentioned that baseball has lost well over a billion dollars to injuries over the past five seasons.

“

This year's winner is something of a repeat,” wrote Stotts, et.al.

“Nick Kenney was part of the Cleveland Indians staff that won the DMA in 2007,” they said. “The Ohio native came to the Royals organization in 2010 and created an immediate turnaround. This is an incredible accomplishment. Doing it so quickly makes it even more astounding.”

Kenney will receive the trophy during the MLB’s Winter Meetings in December in Dallas.