Phillies' Lee McDaniel wins MiLB's Sheldon "Chief" Bender Award

Lee McDaniel of the Philadelphia Phillies wins MiLB's Sheldon "Chief" Bender Award
Lee McDaniel of the Philadelphia Phillies wins MiLB's Sheldon "Chief" Bender Award / Brian Garfinkel/GettyImages

Minor League Baseball recently awarded its 2023 MiLB Player Development Awards, and a Philadelphia Phillies executive, Lee McDaniel, was honored with one of the two offseason awards.

Lee McDaniel, the Phillies director of minor league operations, received the Sheldon "Chief" Bender Award. He has been in the role since being promoted from assistant director of minor league operations in 2011.

Per, this is the 15th time the Sheldon "Chief Bender Award has been presented, with the first award going out in 2008. The award "... is presented to an individual with distinguished service who has been instrumental in player development. The award honors Bender as a longtime front-office executive and consultant who spent 39 years with the Cincinnati Reds."

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be this year’s recipient of the Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award," McDaniel told "And to be mentioned with him and the previous winners, several of whom are dear friends, is a tremendous honor."

McDaniel, who began with the Phillies as in intern with the Rookie-level Martinsville Phillies in 1990, returned to the organization after a couple of years away, taking over as Martinsville's general manager in 1993. He spent time as the assistant general manager and general manager of the High-A Clearwater Phillies before moving into player development in 2000.

McDaniel, 58, oversees the minor league baseball operations budget, all business operations with the team's minor league affiliates as well as the Phillies’ player development complex in Clearwater. He also coordinates the Phillies’ offseason camps, minor league Spring Training, extended Spring Training and the Florida Complex League season.

Per the MiLB release, Peter Woodfork, MLB's senior VP of minor league operations and development, praised McDaniel for embodying the finest qualities of the award, adding that he's highly regarded throughout baseball.

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