Jenks named June's DHL Delivery Man
Closer perfect in 10 saves for the month
NEW YORK -- Bobby Jenks did not have the chance to pitch during his first career All-Star appearance on Tuesday night at PNC Park. But even that particular bit of inactivity couldn't take away from what has been a memorable first half for the White Sox right-hander.
In just his first full season in the Majors, Jenks entered Friday's second-half opener with 26 saves in 27 opportunities -- his total tying him with Boston's Jonathon Papelbon for the American League lead. He also trails Bobby Thigpen by one (27 saves in 1990) for the most saves by a White Sox hurler prior to the All-Star break.
And now Jenks can add another accolade to his resume. Jenks was named the DHL Delivery Man of the Month for June. It was an award Jenks didn't even realize he had won until informed prior to Friday's game, following the whirlwind three days centered on All-Star competition.
"The whole experience, being a part of it," said Jenks, when asked what he enjoyed most about being a first-time All-Star. "It's an absolute thrill."
Jenks was one of seven White Sox representatives at the Midsummer Classic, but only Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome were active. Jenks was coming off of a 31-pitch effort in Sunday's 19-inning victory over Boston, and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said that Jenks only would pitch Tuesday to relieve starter Kenny Rogers if he got into trouble.
There was very little trouble for Jenks personally during June. He was 10-for-10 in save opportunities and allowed only one earned run in 14 games. Jenks fanned 16 in 15 innings and yielded just nine hits.
In recognition of the honor, DHL donated $1,500 to Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities in Jenks' name. A special advertisement ran in Thursday's USA Today announcing Jenks' honor.
A return to Yankee Stadium also brought back memories of Jenks' stellar first effort at Yankee Stadium early last August. In one inning of work, Jenks induced a Gary Sheffield pop out, struck out Alex Rodriguez and retired Hideki Matsui on a fly ball to right.
"It was a pretty good inning," said Jenks with a smile.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.