GW Baseball's Ryan Xepoleas Honored with 2014 Jackie Robinson Award
Junior Honored on Tuesday Night at the Marvin Center Grand Ballroom
April 23, 2014
WASHINGTON - George Washington baseball junior Ryan Xepoleas was honored on Tuesday night as the 2014 recipient of the Jackie Robinson Award, awarded by GW's Jackie Robinson Society in a ceremony in the Marvin Center Grand Ballroom.
Xepoleas, the Colonials' centerfielder, was honored for exhibiting qualities that reflect the attributes of the legendary sports hero, who famously broke Major League Baseball's color barrier 67 years ago this month.
Head Coach Gregg Ritchie presented the award and identified Xepoleas as a true leader both on and off the field. Using words such as honor, respect, pride and humility to describe Xepoleas, Ritchie explained to the audience how he is very proud to have a player like Ryan on his team who strives to promote excellence in his teammates.
Xepoleas was gracious in accepting the award and admitted to being humbled by the honor, especially when being mentioned in the same breath as such a legendary figure in American history and the game of baseball.
Founded in 1999, the Jackie Robinson Society sponsors discussions about Robinson, and its members participate in community service projects associating his name and life's work with good deeds. GW students were inspired to form the society after taking a course titled "Jackie Robinson: Race, Sports and the American Dream."
The course, offered by Dr. Richard Zamoff of GW's Department of Sociology, explores the impact of Jackie Robinson's entry into the game of baseball, the major leagues and to American society.
Each spring for the past 17 years, Dr. Zamoff has organized Jackie Robinson Week, which has included commemorative programs, panel discussions, museum exhibits and other events designed to promote the Jackie Robinson legacy and to illustrate the historical and current relationship between race and sports in America.
Past winners of the Jackie Robinson Award include Travis Crowder, Tom Shanley, Michael Parker, Joe Michalski, Dan Pfau, Derek Haese, Brian Frazier, Gavin Swanson, Bobby Lucas, Jr., Tommy Gately and Max Kaplow.
Xepoleas is currently batting .333 for the Colonials with 10 doubles, three triples, one home run and a team-best 20 RBIs. The Del Oro, Calif., native has started all 37 games in center field after transferring in from Santa Rosa Community College.