In a season marked by extraordinary performances on and off the field, Major League Baseball players bestowed their highest honors on two players -- Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is Player of the Year and Detroit Tigers infielder Brandon Inge is the Marvin Miller Man of the Year.
10/29/2010 10:45 AM ET
Gonzalez, Inge receive top awards
Rockies outfielder, Tigers infielder honored by peers
The Major League Baseball Players Trust will honor Gonzalez and Inge, the top Players Choice Award winners, with donations of $50,000 each to the charities of their choice. The awards announcements were made this morning on the Mike & Mike in the Morning Show during the finale of ESPN Radio's exclusive five-day Players Choice Awards broadcast special, presented by Majestic Athletic and 2K Sports and benefiting the Major League Baseball Players Trust.
Gonzalez, 25, helped keep the Rockies' playoff hopes alive for most of the season with an offensive performance worthy of one of the game's rising young superstars. In a career-high 145 games played this season, he led all National Leaguers in average (.336), hits (197) and total bases (351). In just his third Major League season, Gonzalez finished second among National Leaguers in RBIs (117) and slugging percentage (.598), third in runs (111) and fourth in homers (34). Earlier this week, Gonzalez captured his first-ever Players Choice Award when he was named the National League Outstanding Player. The Players Trust will contribute a total of $70,000 to the charity (or charities) of his choice in honor of his two Players Choice Awards.
Inge captured the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, named for the founding executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association and awarded to the player whose on-field performances and community outreach most inspire others to higher levels of achievement. Inge displays as much passion to give back to others as he shows on the diamond as one of the game's most sure-handed infielders. Inge, 33, and a 10-year veteran of the Detroit Tigers, works closely with C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. Inge frequently visits C.S. Mott and other local hospitals to form lasting bonds with children and their families. In 2007, Inge and his wife, Shani, made a $100,000 donation to Mott Children's Hospital to fund an infusion center to help treat pediatric cancer. On the field, this season Inge finished with 127 hits, including 28 doubles, in 144 games. In 1,226 2/3 innings played, Inge committed just nine errors to give him the third-best fielding percentage (.977) among all American League third basemen.
The Players Choice Awards annually honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher and comeback player in each league, and the Player of the Year and Man of the Year awards bestow top honors without regard to league. Balloting for the Players Choice Awards was conducted in September under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.
The 2010 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust, the charitable foundation created and run by the players themselves. (Individual league winners receive $20,000 grants, and Player of the Year and Man of the Year receive $50,000 grants.)
The Players Trust raises funds and attention for issues affecting the needy and promotes community involvement. Since 1992, the Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing $3 million to charities around the world. For additional information, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com or visit the Players Trust channel on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/MLBPlayersTrust.
Please visit http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/pa/programs/choice_winners.jsp for a complete list of previous Players Choice Awards winners.
2010 Players Choice Awards finalists (winners in bold, underlined)
Outstanding Player: Jose Bautista (Toronto), Miguel Cabrera (Detroit), Josh Hamilton (Texas)
Outstanding Pitcher: Felix Hernandez (Seattle), David Price (Tampa Bay), CC Sabathia (NY Yankees)
Outstanding Rookie: Wade Davis (Tampa Bay), Neftali Feliz (Texas), Austin Jackson (Detroit)
Comeback Player: Freddy Garcia (Chicago White Sox), Vladimir Guerrero (Texas), Francisco Liriano (Minnesota)
Outstanding Player: Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado), Albert Pujols (St. Louis), Joey Votto (Cincinnati)
Outstanding Pitcher: Roy Halladay (Philadelphia), Ubaldo Jimenez (Colorado), Adam Wainwright (St. Louis)
Outstanding Rookie: Jaime Garcia (St. Louis), Jason Heyward (Atlanta), Buster Posey (San Francisco)
Comeback Player: R.A. Dickey (NY Mets), Tim Hudson (Atlanta), Aubrey Huff (San Francisco)
Player of Year: Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado), Josh Hamilton (Texas), Joey Votto (Cincinnati)
Man of the Year: Torii Hunter (LA Angels of Anaheim), Brandon Inge (Detroit), Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado)