09/16/2008 1:19 PM ET
Six players selected by fans as finalists for 2008 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award
Six divisional winners placed on 2008 Players Choice Awards ballots for league-wide player voting
NEW YORK -- Thousands of baseball fans participated in an Internet poll on MLBPLAYERS.com between September 8 and 14, to determine which six players, one from each division, inspire others to higher levels of achievement by their on-field performances and contributions to their communities. From this list of 30 players, Derek Jeter (NY Yankees) was tabbed to represent the AL East, Justin Morneau (Minnesota Twins) the AL Central, Michael Young (Texas Rangers) the AL West, Carlos Delgado (NY Mets) the NL East, Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals) the NL Central and Barry Zito (San Francisco Giants) the NL West.
These six players will have their names placed on the 2008 Players Choice Awards ballot to determine this season’s Marvin Miller Man of the Year award winner. Ballots will be distributed to all Major League players on Wednesday, September 17, when the accounting firm of KPMG conducts the league-wide, players-only voting for the 2008 Players Choice Awards. [Note: San Diego @ Colorado will vote on Tuesday, September 16.]
The 2008 Players Choice Awards also honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher, and comeback player in each league, as well as the overall Player of the Year. 2008 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing more than $3 million to charities around the world.
Torii Hunter was the recipient of the 2007 Man of the Year Award, and other past winners of the award, named for the legendary baseball union leader, also include Albert Pujols, Jim Thome, John Smoltz, Mike Sweeney, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Eric Davis and Paul Molitor.
2008 Players Choice Marvin Miller Man of the Year Divisional Winners
American League East
New York Yankees Derek Jeter: In addition to being the captain of the Yankees and a leader in the clubhouse, Derek has been at the forefront of myriad charitable efforts. For over 10 years, Derek’s Turn 2 Foundation has raised more than $7 million dollars to help children across the country. Turn 2 creates and finances programs that promote the development of sound academic, fitness and leadership habits among children and to caution against the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
American League Central
Minnesota Twins Justin Morneau: Justin was AL MVP in only in his second season and has established himself as an MVP in his community as well. Morneau has met and hosted Special Olympics athletes at Twins games and serves as a member of the honorary board of the Special Olympics Minnesota. In 2007, Justin dedicated $100 per RBI to renovate youth ball fields in the Minneapolis-area with the hope of reviving inner city baseball. His program, Morneau’s Mounties, has provided tickets to more than 20,000 economically disadvantaged youth from the Twin Cities.
American League West
Texas Rangers Michael Young: Ever since arriving on the scene, Michael has proven to be an inspirational leader on and off the field, and is quick to lend a helping hand to charitable causes in the Dallas/Ft.Worth/Arlington area. He is particularly interested in helping children in need and he serves as an ambassador for Wipe Out Kids Cancer. Michael and teammate Jason Jennings are members of the Major League Baseball Players Trust’s Action Team, helping to inspire and train high school students to become volunteers in their community. In 2003, Michael was selected as the recipient of the Harold McKinney Good Guy Award by the Dallas-Fort Worth Baseball Writers Association of America.
National League East
New York Mets Carlos Delgado: Since becoming a professional in 1989, Carlos’ main goal has been to improve the lives of children. Six years ago, he started a foundation called Extra Bases, where he’s personally donated more than $1 million. Extra Bases is a non-profit, Puerto Rican-based charity that was founded to assist underprivileged and deserving youngsters in the community and abroad. In 2008, for the fourth straight year, he sponsored two, four-year college scholarships. In addition, he sponsors trips to New York City for the top students in Puerto Rico. Last year more than 35 students enjoyed a five-day tour of the Big Apple, which was capped off with a lunch at Shea Stadium with Carlos.
National League Central
St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols: Winner of the 2006 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, Albert and his wife Deidre are the founders of the Pujols Family Foundation, which is dedicated to the love, care and development of people with Down Syndrome and their families. Albert hosts an annual charity golf tournament as well as a live auction to raise money for the foundation. The Pujols family dedicates their time not only to those with Down Syndrome, but also to the impoverished children and orphans of the Dominican Republic by donating time and money to better the children’s education.
National League West
San Francisco Giants Barry Zito: Former finalist of the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award and MLB’s Roberto Clemente Award, Barry Zito is truly a humanitarian and active leader in his community. Barry’s role in founding the Strikeouts for Troops organization is one of his biggest accomplishments. Since its inception in 2005, Barry has recruited more than 50 big league players to join the Strikeouts for Troops program, which has raised nearly $1 million. 2008 marks the 4th season of Zito’s Strikeouts for Troops and he has pledged $500 for each strikeout he records during the season.
The following players were nominated by their teammates for the 2008 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award:
Arizona: Doug Davis; Atlanta: Tom Glavine; Baltimore: Brian Roberts; Boston: Sean Casey; Chicago Cubs: Kerry Wood; Chicago White Sox: Jermaine Dye; Cincinnati: Aaron Harang; Cleveland: Grady Sizemore; Colorado: Jason Grilli; Detroit: Curtis Granderson; Florida: Hanley Ramirez; Houston: Lance Berkman; Kansas City: John Buck; Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Howie Kendrick; Los Angeles Dodgers: James Loney; Milwaukee: Jeff Suppan; Minnesota: Justin Morneau; New York Mets: Carlos Delgado; New York Yankees: Derek Jeter; Oakland: Mike Sweeney; Philadelphia: Jamie Moyer; Pittsburgh: Nate McLouth; San Diego: Adrian Gonzalez; San Francisco: Barry Zito; Seattle: Raul Ibanez; St. Louis: Albert Pujols; Tampa Bay: Trevor Miller; Texas; Michael Young; Toronto: Roy Halladay; Washington: Joel Hanrahan.