MIAMI -- Prior to this evenings game against the Phillies, Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla was recognized for his incredible rookie season, when he was presented a prestigious Players Choice Award for being named by his peers as the 2006 National League Outstanding Rookie. Former Major League catcher, Charles Johnson, member of the Marlins 1997 World Series team, and a former Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Board member, presented Dan with his trophy.
Last season, Dan led an impressive NL rookie class by batting .282 with 90 runs batted in. Dan also set the Marlins franchise and rookie records, and the Major League rookie record, for home runs by a second baseman, with 27. In his inaugural season, Dan was named to the NL All-Star team and earned Co-Rookie of the Month honors for June.
On Dans behalf, the Major League Baseball Players Trust will contribute $20,000 to Lexington (KY) Dream Factory. Each Players Choice Award winner designates the charity or charities of his choice to receive a grant from the Players Trust. Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. In partnership with Volunteers of America, the national human service organization, the Players Trust created and helps administer the Action Team, a national youth volunteer program currently inspiring the next generation of volunteers in cities throughout the United States. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com.
The Players Choice Awards winners were selected by secret ballot of all Major League baseball players last September, under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.
The 2006 Players Choice Awards Winners & Runners-up (winners in bold type):
Outstanding Player: David Ortiz (Boston), Derek Jeter (NY Yankees), Jermaine Dye (Chicago White Sox)
Outstanding Pitcher: Roy Halladay (Toronto), Johan Santana (Minnesota), Justin Verlander (Detroit)
Outstanding Rookie: Francisco Liriano (Minnesota), Jonathan Papelbon (Boston), Justin Verlander (Detroit)
Comeback Player of the Year: Magglio Ordonez (Detroit), Frank Thomas (Oakland), Jim Thome (Chicago White Sox)
Outstanding Player: Miguel Cabrera (Florida), Ryan Howard (Philadelphia), Albert Pujols (St. Louis)
Outstanding Pitcher: Chris Carpenter (St. Louis), Brandon Webb (Arizona), Carlos Zambrano (Chicago Cubs)
Outstanding Rookie: Prince Fielder (Milwaukee), Dan Uggla (Florida), Ryan Zimmerman (Washington)
Comeback Player of the Year: Joe Borowski (Florida), Nomar Garciaparra (Los Angeles Dodgers), Scott Rolen (St. Louis)
Player of the Year: Ryan Howard (Philadelphia), David Ortiz (Boston), Albert Pujols (St. Louis)
Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Albert Pujols (St. Louis), John Smoltz (Atlanta), Jim Thome (Chicago White Sox)