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Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella will be presented with the Thurman Munson award, along with four other honorees, on February 2 in New York.

The AHRC New York City Foundation benefits from the gala, which remembers Munson, the late, great Yankees catcher and captain who tragically perished in a 1979 plane crash.

Diana Munson, Thurman’s widow, has been involved in the benefit since its inception, raising nearly $10 million to assist children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Longtime New York sports anchor Len Berman, formerly of NBC Sports, will once again serve as the master of ceremonies for the 16th consecutive year. The honorees will be cited for their accomplishments on the field of play and philanthropic efforts….

Piniella, a previous Munson Award recipient, will receive the “Legend Award” for his long and meritorious service to baseball. Piniella played 18 seasons in the big leagues, including 11 with the Yankees, and is in his 22nd season as a big league manager.

The 69-year-old Tampa, Fla., native has won more than 1,700 games as a manager, and has three Manager of the Year Awards, including in 2008 with the Cubs. He was selected Rookie of the Year in 1969 with the Royals before being dealt to the Yankees in 1975, where he became one of Munson’s closest friends. MLB.com.

Piniella is signed through this season with the Cubs, but he has recently vacillated on the question of whether he’ll want to return in 2011.

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