Each year, the Sheldon "Chief" Bender Award is given the person in professional baseball with distinguished service that has been instrumental in player development. This year, that is Athletics special assistant to the general manager Grady Fuson. He was named the 10th recipient of the award, Minor League Baseball announced Tuesday.
Fuson has spent nearly three decades with the A's in a career that began as an area scout in 1982. He has also worked for the Rangers and Padres. Fuson has held his current position with Oakland since 2010.
"I am honored and very humbled to receive such a distinguished award," said Fuson. "To be put in the same arena with the past winners is something I will cherish."
Bender, the award's namesake, spent 39 years as a front-office executive and consultant with the Reds. Fuson is the second member of the A's to receive the award, joining Keith Lieppman in 2009.
"We are thrilled that Grady is receiving the 'Chief' Bender Award from Minor League Baseball," said Athletics general manager David Forst. "Over his 36 years in the game, Grady has positively impacted every facet of our organization, serving as a teacher and mentor to generations of Oakland A's. His commitment to the players and to our scouting and player development staffs is unwavering and this honor is incredibly well deserved."
Gusan will receive the award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Dec. 10 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.