Rangers Chirinos first-ever winner of Durrett honor

Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos

Jerome Miron/Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos was tabbed as the first-ever winner of the Richard Durrett Hardest-Working Man.

The award goes to the Texas player who demonstrates significant improvement over the previous season or seasons through hard work. The award was the idea of the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

It’s named for reporter Richard Durrett, who died June 17 at the age of 38. Durrett, who had a wife, two children and a third on the way, spent a decade covering the Rangers for both the Dallas Morning News and ESPNDallas.com.

"I’m totally touched about the award," said Kelly Durrett, Richard Durrett’s widow. "One of things I want our kids to remember about Richard was how hard working he was. He had so much dedication and drive and I still don’t know how he got everything done in a day. He really did work harder than anyone I know. I think this is the perfect way to honor and to remember him. It’s great that this could be done and I’m sure Robinson was someone Richard enjoyed working with and someone who is truly deserving."

Chirinos went from trying to win a spot in spring training to taking over as the primary catcher for the club by the end of the season. He hit .230 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 93 games. He also led all regular American League catchers by throwing out 36.2 percent of baserunners (25 of 69).

Chirinos was honored to be the first recipient of the award.

"I know him (Durrett) and I know he was a hard worker for him family, for the community," he said. "To be the first guy to be nominated to receive the award I just want to stare at him (looking up) because I know he’s in Heaven with God. I’m going to do the best I can to work hard for the community and the Texas Rangers organization."

Chirinos will be honored Jan. 23 at the Dr Pepper Texas Rangers Awards Dinner at the Dallas Omni Hotel.