NEW YORK -- Major League baseball players in each league cast votes for the "best of the best," and the 2007 Players Choice Award winners for Outstanding Player are Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder in the National League and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez in the American League. The announcement was made today on Yahoo! Sports (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/awards/pa) in the second of a series of Internet specials featuring up-close interviews with Players Choice Award winners and their outstanding performances during the 2007 season, both on and off the baseball field. [See remaining webcast schedule below.]
In just his second full season, Fielder, 23, led all National Leaguers in home runs and slugging percentage, as he helped power the Brewers to a second place finish in the NL Central Division, just two games behind the Cubs. With 50 homers, 119 RBI (3rd most in the NL), a slugging percentage of .618 and a .288 batting average, Fielder was the catalyst for the Brewers impressive 2007 offensive performance. The Club led all NL teams in home runs (231), finished second in total bases (2532) and slugging percentage (.456) and fourth in RBI (774.)
In 2007, Rodriguez, 32, helped steer the Yankees to their 12th consecutive post-season appearance by supplying the AL Wild Card team with an impressive display of hitting. A-Rod led all Major Leaguers in homers (54), RBI (156), runs (143), slugging percentage (.645), and finished seventh in on-base percentage (.422). A certain Hall of Famer, A-Rod became the youngest player in Major League history to reach 500 home runs, when he belted a 3-run homer at Yankee Stadium on August 4, 2007, against the K.C. Royals. This is A-Rods seventh Players Choice Award, the most bestowed upon any player.
Players Choice Awards annually recognize the best player, pitcher, rookie and comeback player in each league. The Player of the Year and Man of the Year awards bestow top honors without regard to league. Balloting of all Major League players for the Players Choice Awards was conducted in September under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.
Each 2007 Players Choice Award winner will recommend the charity of his choice to receive a grant from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has contributed more than $3 million dollars to charities around the world in honor of Players Choice Award winners.
The 2007 Players Choice Awards finalists are [winners in bold]:
Player of the Year: Matt Holliday (Colorado), Magglio Ordonez (Detroit), Alex Rodriguez (NY Yankees)
Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Tom Glavine (NY Mets), Torii Hunter (Minnesota), Jake Peavy (San Diego)
Outstanding Player: Curtis Granderson (Detroit), Magglio Ordonez (Detroit), Alex Rodriguez (NY Yankees)
Outstanding Pitcher: Josh Beckett (Boston), C.C. Sabathia (Cleveland), Chien-Ming Wang (NY Yankees)
Outstanding Rookie: Brian Bannister (Kansas City), Dustin Pedroia (Boston), Delmon Young (Tampa Bay)
Comeback Player of the Year: Jon Lester (Boston), Carlos Pena (Tampa Bay), Sammy Sosa (Texas)
Outstanding Player: Prince Fielder (Milwaukee), Matt Holliday (Colorado), David Wright (NY Mets)
Outstanding Pitcher: Jeff Francis (Colorado), Jake Peavy (San Diego), Brandon Webb (Arizona)
Outstanding Rookie: Ryan Braun (Milwaukee), Hunter Pence (Houston), Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado)
Comeback Player of the Year: Rick Ankiel (St. Louis), Josh Hamilton (Cincinnati), Dmitri Young (Washington)
Yahoo! Sports webcast schedule of the 2007 Players Choice Awards:
Tuesday, October 23 AL & NL Outstanding Pitchers
Wednesday, October 24 AL & NL Outstanding Players
Thursday, October 25 AL & NL Outstanding Rookies
Friday, October 26 AL & NL Comeback Players
Saturday, October 27 Player of the Year/Marvin Miller Man of the Year