Man of the Year finalists named
Robertson, Konerko, Young, Wright, Wainwright, Tulo get nods
NEW YORK -- Thousands of baseball fans participated in an Internet poll on www.MLBPLAYERS.com between Sept. 9-12 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, David Robertson (New York Yankees) was tabbed to represent the AL East, Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox) the AL Central, Michael Young (Texas Rangers) the AL West, David Wright (New York Mets) the NL East, Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals) the NL Central and Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado Rockies) the NL West.
These six players will have their names placed on the 2011 Players Choice Awards ballot to determine this season's Marvin Miller Man of the Year award winner. The 2011 Players Choice Awards marks the 20th anniversary of the awards, which began in 1992 with AL & NL Outstanding Players (Dennis Eckersley and Barry Bonds, respectively). (Note: Click here for complete history of the Awards.)
The 2011 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. 2011 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. 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.
2011 ballots will be distributed to all Major League players on Tuesday, Sept. 13, and Wednesday, Sept, 14, when the accounting firm of KPMG conducts the league-wide, players-only voting. (Note: Detroit @ Chicago; Toronto @ Boston; Minnesota @ K.C.; LA Angels @ Oakland; Philadelphia @ Houston; Florida @ Atlanta; St. Louis @ Pittsburgh and San Diego @ San Francisco will vote on Tuesday, Sept.13; all other teams will vote on Wednesday, Sept. 14.)
Brandon Inge of the Tigers was the recipient of the 2010 Man of the Year Award. Past winners of the award, named for the legendary baseball union leader, include this year's finalist Michael Young, Curtis Granderson, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Mike Sweeney, Jim Thome, John Smoltz, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Eric Davis and Paul Molitor.
2011 Players Choice Marvin Miller Man of the Year divisional winners
American League East
New York Yankees -- David Robertson: After watching tornadoes tear through Tuscaloosa, Ala., and spending an off-day touring the damage first-hand, David Robertson was determined to help his hometown rebuild. In May, the Yankees pitcher and his wife established the David and Erin Robertson Foundation to raise relief funds and lend support to local charities helping those affected by the storms, with Robertson personally donating $100 for every batter he strikes out this season through his High Socks for Hope campaign.
American League Central
Chicago White Sox -- Paul Konerko: Team captain Paul Konerko sets the standard for professionalism, leadership and community service in the White Sox clubhouse. An advocate for foster children and their families, Konerko's Bring Me Home campaign raises funds to support abused and neglected children and promotes awareness for the benefits of foster care in partnership with Children's Home + Aid of Illinois. Konerko also leads holiday gift drives and provides back-to-school shopping sprees for foster children. To date, the Bring Me Home campaign has raised more than $400,000 to benefit Illinois foster children and their families.
American League West
Texas Rangers -- Michael Young: Winner of the 2008 Man of the Year award, Michael Young is a role model for outstanding character and charitable work. This year, Young and wife Cristina launched The Michael Young Family Foundation to improve children's social, educational, physical and mental health. A longtime sponsor of the Wipe Out Kids Cancer Ambassadors Program, Young invites young cancer patients to Rangers games and has provided college scholarships to more than 50 local cancer survivors and Hispanic students through his Young Heroes Scholarship Program.
National League East
New York Mets -- David Wright: A team leader on and off the field, David Wright always takes the time to visit and bring smiles to the faces of military personnel and young hospital patients. His David Wright Foundation provides aid and assistance to support the health, emotional development and education of needy children in greater Tri-State communities and in his Norfolk, Va., hometown, with a special emphasis on enhancing the quality of life for multiple sclerosis patients. This year, his Foundation's signature Las Vegas Nights raised $60,000 for the New York City Ronald McDonald House and $111,000 for Virginia's Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters.
National League Central
St. Louis Cardinals -- Adam Wainwright: Adam Wainwright has continued to inspire his teammates behind the scenes this season, despite the fact that elbow surgery has prevented him from suiting up for a single game. Wainwright is a champion for the Catch-A-Dream Foundation, an organization that gives the outdoor enthusiast the opportunity to share his Christian values while granting children with life-threatening illnesses their dream of going on a once-in-a-lifetime hunting and fishing trip. To date, he has raised more than $75,000 for the foundation, enough to help 20 kids realize their dream. This season, Wainwright also traveled to Joplin, Mo., to help with tornado relief and rebuilding efforts.
National League West
Colorado Rockies -- Troy Tulowitzki: Recognized by his teammates as the heart and soul of the Rockies, Troy Tulowitzki leads by example to inspire his teammates and the city of Denver. The Coors Field favorite grows "bad hair for a good cause" as part of the Wins for Kids program, an initiative that raised more than $25,000 for The Children's Hospital and The Special Olympics last season. "Tulo" also welcomes terminally ill children to batting practice through the Rockies Share and Care program and is a national spokesman for the Play Sun Smart program, where he promotes the importance of skin cancer prevention for the American Academy of Dermatology.
The following players were nominated by their teammates for the 2011 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award: Arizona: Joe Saunders; Atlanta: Tim Hudson; Baltimore: Adam Jones; Boston: Jason Varitek; Chicago Cubs: Randy Wells; Chicago White Sox: Paul Konerko; Cincinnati: Francisco Cordero; Cleveland: Justin Masterson; Colorado: Troy Tulowitzki; Detroit: Carlos Guillen; Florida: Javier Vazquez; Houston: Clint Barmes; Kansas City: Billy Butler; Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Torii Hunter; Los Angeles Dodgers: Hiroki Kuroda; Milwaukee: LaTroy Hawkins; Minnesota: Jason Kubel; New York Mets: David Wright; New York Yankees: David Robertson; Oakland: Craig Breslow; Philadelphia: Cole Hamels; Pittsburgh: Jeff Karstens; San Diego: Heath Bell; San Francisco: Jeremy Affeldt; Seattle: Chris Ray; St. Louis: Adam Wainwright; Tampa Bay: Johnny Damon; Texas: Michael Young; Toronto: Jose Bautista; Washington: Ryan Zimmerman.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.