Sports

Navs’ Olszak recognized with FCBL leadership award

Danvers native Andrew Olszak won the FCBL's Adam Keenan Award. (COURTESY PHOTO )

LYNN — North Shore Navigators infielder Andrew Olszak has been named the recipient of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s 2019 Adam Keenan Sportsmanship and Scholarship Award.

A former player at Franklin Pierce University, UMass Lowell, and for the FCBL’s Seacoast Mavericks, Keenan passed away suddenly on June 6, 2011. The FCBL then instituted the annual scholarship in his honor. “The award is bestowed upon the player who exemplifies the outstanding attitude, character, and sportsmanship that is synonymous with Keenan’s legacy,” an FCBL release stated.

Olszak, a rising senior at the University of Southern Maine, is the second-ever Navigator to win the award, following Andrew Harris (Vanderbilt) who earned the 2012 honor.

“I have been with the Navigators since 2011 and I can say without hesitation that Andrew is one of the most respectful and hard-working players we have ever signed,” Assistant General Manager Joe Gill said. “He plays every single game, every single inning, every single pitch as if it was going to decide the championship. This never say die attitude has been truly special to watch.”

The Danvers native had a unique role during his second consecutive summer with the Navigators, serving as a full-time intern by day and an All-Star player by night. Olszak reported to Fraser Field by 10 a.m. each day to help get the ballpark ready for the game and stayed late to clean and do the team’s laundry.

As part of his internship, Olszak was also responsible for running the team’s week-long baseball camp for over 40 local youth. 

“In this day and age, it is unique and selfless to see one player spend so much time down at the ballpark helping out his team,” Gill added.

Olszak fulfilled all of his internship duties while playing in 51 of the Navs’ 55 regular-season games, posting a .282 average with 39 runs scored and 26 RBI. He ranked third in the FCBL with 59 hits and tied for third with 13 doubles, and his 209 at-bats were more than any other player. In addition, Olszak has played in all 138 of Southern Maine’s games over his first three collegiate campaigns and stands as a career .320 hitter for the Huskies.

FCBL Manager of the Year Mike Odenwaelder echoed Gill’s sentiments about Olszak receiving the award.

“Andrew’s exemplary attitude day in and day out, accompanied by his undying passion for the game, make him the perfect fit for the Adam Keenan Award,” Odenwaelder said. “He has done an incredible job juggling his summer internship with the Navigators, All-Star on-field performance, and developing relationships with players, coaches, and umpires throughout the league.”

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