Two Players Choice Awards for A-Rod
AL MVP wins Player of the Year, AL Outstanding Player honors
NEW YORK -- Six months after completing one of the most noteworthy seasons in Yankees history, Alex Rodriguez has not yet finished basking in its glories.
Rodriguez received two of the Major League Baseball Players Association's Players Choice Awards before Monday's game against the Rays, earning honors as the 2007 Player of the Year and the American League Outstanding Player. Yankees teammates and MLBPA representatives LaTroy Hawkins and Ross Ohlendorf presented Rodriguez with the awards in a brief pregame ceremony behind home plate.
Rodriguez led the Major Leagues last season with 54 home runs, 156 RBIs, 143 runs scored and a .643 slugging percentage, winning the AL Most Valuable Player Award in the process. This season, entering Monday's play, he was batting .333 with one home run and four RBIs.
Monday's awards were of a different variety, with votes coming from a secret ballot of Major League players. Rodriguez previously won the Player of the Year Award in 2002, and he has won a record eight Players Choice Awards in his career.
"For me, it was a magical season, both on and off the field, coming together with my teammates in the clubhouse and in the community," Rodriguez said after winning the MVP Award. "To be able to put that type of year, it's certainly a year that I'll never forget."
Along with recognizing Rodriguez on the field, the MLBPA Players Trust -- a charitable foundation established and run entirely by players -- will donate a $70,000 grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Miami. That club will soon house the $1.5 million Alex Rodriguez Education Center, scheduled to open this month with a computer laboratory, Internet access and a meeting area for teenagers.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.