Jake Westbrook: 2012 Darryl Kile Award Winner

The St. Louis Cardinals pitcher has been named by his teammates to receive a very special award.

On Sunday, during the Winter Warm-Up, pitcher Jake Westbrook was asked if he might be the forgotten man in the St. Louis Cardinals' rotation. Their right-hander cheerfully responded that if so, it is fine with him.

The 35-year-old doesn't need to be in the spotlight, instead content on being a consistent starter and a quiet leader among his peers. On Sunday evening, the St. Louis chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America will honor Westbrook as the 2012 winner of the Darryl Kile Award.

"The Darryl Kile Award means a lot to have it voted on by my teammates," Westbrook said on Sunday.

The Kile Award was first announced in January 2003 to memorialize the late pitcher and is voted upon annually by Cardinals players. Criteria include Kile's qualities of being "a good teammate, a great friend, a fine father and a humble man."

Kile took great pride in never missing a start in 331 major league outings and in never spending a day on the major league disabled list in 12 years. The right-handed pitcher passed away in his sleep due to coronary disease on June 22, 2002, leaving behind a wife, two small children, legions of fans and a grieving Cardinals organization.

Past winners include (no winner in 2002 to honor Kyle), Mike Matheny (2003), Woody Williams (2004), Cal Eldred (2005), Chris Carpenter (2006), Russ Springer (2007), Adam Wainwright (2008), Skip Schumaker (2009), Matt Holliday (2010) and Lance Berkman (2011).

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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