NEW YORK -- Gary Sanchez's historic slugging performance cemented his status as the Yankees' catcher of the future, and as he prepares for an encore performance in 2017, he will be honored with an award bearing the name of one of the team's all-time great backstops.
Sanchez, who electrified the league by slugging 20 home runs with 42 RBIs in 53 games last season, has been announced among the honorees for the 37th annual Thurman Munson Awards dinner. The event is scheduled to be held on Feb. 7 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York.
Last August, Sanchez was the first Yankees catcher to win an American League Player of the Week Award since Munson in July 1976, and only the second Yanks catcher to receive the honor.
Also in line to receive Munson Awards, presented for success on the field of play and philanthropic works off the field, are Mets infielder Wilmer Flores and New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz. Michael Kay is set to serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
The awards and dinner pay homage to the late Yankees captain, whose life was tragically cut short by a plane crash on Aug. 2, 1979.
The event benefits the AHRC NYC Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that supports programs enabling children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Diana Munson, Thurman's widow, will attend her 37th consecutive benefit. She has been involved since its inception, helping to raise more than $15 million.
AHRC NYC is one of the largest organizations of its kind, serving 15,000 children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and other disabilities.
For tickets and more information, call 212-249-6188 or visit www.ahrcNYCfoundation.org/events.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.