78th Seattle Sports Star of the Year banquet, live thread
PRO ATHLETE---Marshawn Lynch wins the top award. Doug Baldwin accepted the award, but stopped short of saying Lynch is sorry he couldn't be here.
Lynch, of course, is in Hawaii for Sunday's Pro Bowl.
FEMALE ATHLETE---Olympic gold-medal rower Mary Whipple, formerly of UW, won the award for top Female Amateur Athlete.
"I'm honored; this is awesome," she said. "I can't believe I get to be in a room with so many amazing athletes."
MALE ATHLETE---Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian of Bremerton is given the award, as presented by Lawyer Milloy and Drew Bledsoe. Adrian is training, so his parents, Jim and Cecilia, accepted and thanked his coaches.
ROYAL BROUGHAM LEGEND AWARD---Mariners icon Edgar Martinez is accepting the Royal Brougham Legend Award for spirit that exemplifies the state and lifetime achievement in sports. His wife, Holli, presented it.
Martinez thanked his great teammates and the fans in his speech. He also recalled driving by the Kingdome with the M's owner upon signing wondering if he'd even play there.
PAUL ALLEN AWARD---Lenny Wilkens was very gracious in his acceptance speech upon being presented with the Paul Allen Award for contributions to the local community. The former Sonics coach has given more than $3 million to provide health care and education to children the past decade.
EMOTIONAL MOMENT---The Seattle Children's Inspirational Youth Award was just given in memory of its winner, Josh Dickerson. He continued to play baseball for O'Dea High School with a rare form of cancer and later died at age 18.
His father, Kiyo, accepted the award and gave a heartfelt speech about his son risking his health to continue to play the game he loved.
"Thanks for giving us the best 18 years of our lives," Kiyo Dickerson said at the end.
BIG NAMES HERE---Steve Raible is on stage mentioning a few famous people here, like Duff McKagan, Shawn Kemp, Dow Constantine, Jack Thompson and many others.
KEITH JACKSON AWARD---This was another award we knew was coming, as Bob Rondeau, UW's broadcaster for football and men's basketball, won the Keith Jackson Award for excellence in sports media. A compilation of his best calls was a fun listen.
"This is a wonderful night for me. ... I share this with a lot of you this evening," Rondeau said.
Since his is a media award, Rondeau talked a bit about the evolving role of media these days. At one point, he quipped that these days "it's almost like if you own a smart phone, you are part of media."
EXEC OF THE YEAR---We already knew Sounders FC's Adrian Hanauer was going to win this one and coach Sigi Schmid presented.
Schmid recalled a meeting with Hanauer back in 2004, when Sigi's kid was playing for the UW men's soccer team. Hanauer was talking about his dream of bringing MLS to Seattle and Schmid told him not to forget about him. Interesting anecdote, because Schmid -- of course -- ended up being the Sounders first and only coach.
Hanauer reiterated that it's a team award in his acceptance speech and pegged Seahawks GM John Schneider to win next year.
STORY OF THE YEAR---And the award goes to Felix Hernandez for throwing a perfect game. Hernandez isn't here so manager Eric Wedge accepted the award on his behalf, calling Felix "a special guy on and off the field."
Before presenting, Sonics legend Slick Watts commented that next year's top stories is a given: That the Supersonics will be coming back, of course.
EVENT STARTS---ESPN's Kenny Mayne, a hometown guy, is the master of ceremonies tonight. They had a highlight video to start and the biggest cheers for Felix Hernandez' perfect games and vintage Edgar Martinez highlights.
NWSL STARS HERE---A couple women's soccer standouts have arrived: Alex Morgan, who's nominated for Professional Sports Star of the Year, is here with her longtime boyfriend Servando Carrasco. Goalkeeper Hope Solo has also arrived with her husband, Jerramy Stevens.
WEDGE STOPS BY---Jesus Montero of the Mariners stopped by earlier. Now manager Eric Wedge is chatting with Brewer. Amazingly enough, pitchers and catchers will be reporting just around the corner. Wedge said guys are starting to get to town and excitement is starting to build.
WATTS LOOKING SHARP---Brewer is chatting with Donald "Slick" Watts right now. Fitting that the Sonics legend has a shiny "Sonics" pin on his suit. I anticipate the Sonics enthusiasm will be pretty big here tonight. You might remember Kasey Keller's line last year after winning the top award of Professional Sports Star of the Year: "Someone please bring back the Sonics so I don't have to go down to Portland again."
LEVESQUE IS HERE---Coverage here might have a bit of a Sounders feel since that's the team I know best. Jerry has already caught up with coach Sigi Schmid and retired fan favorite Roger Levesque tonight.
I chatted with Levesque for a bit, too. You might remember he's in a two-year master's program at the University of Washington studying business. He said it's been a bit of a transition becoming a student again. He also joked it'd be pretty funny if Alex Morgan won the top award here tonight, considering she plays for a Portland team now with the NWSL's Thorns FC.
BREWER DOING VIDEO---Our columnist Jerry Brewer is catching up Seattle sports stars tonight for video interviews. Here's a link to that page.
INTRO---Hey everyone, I'm checking in from Benaroya Hall downtown for tonight's 78th Seattle Sports Star of the Year banquet. Interviews are a bit of a free-for-all right now, but I'll post more frequent updates during the awards ceremony later tonight (they start at 7:30 p.m.).