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MLB.com

09/12/2005 2:04 PM ET
Fans select Helton, Jeter, Jones, Pujols, Sweeney, Zito as finalists for Marvin Miller Man of Year Award
These six to be placed on Players Choice Awards ballots for league-wide player voting Sept. 13 and 14

NEW YORK -- Thousands of baseball fans participated in an Internet poll on MLBPLAYERS.com, between September 6 and 11, 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, Mike Sweeney (K.C. Royals) the AL Central, Barry Zito (Oakland A’s) the AL West, Andruw Jones (Atlanta Braves) the NL East, Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals) the NL Central and Todd Helton (Colorado Rockies) the NL West.

These six players will have their names placed on the 2005 Players Choice Awards ballots to determine this season’s Marvin Miller Man of the Year. Ballots will be distributed to all Major League players on Tuesday, September 13 and Wednesday, September 14, when the accounting firm of KPMG conducts the league-wide, players-only voting for the 2005 Players Choice Awards. Also that day, all Major League players will be voting for their league’s outstanding rookie, pitcher, player, and comeback player as well as the overall Outstanding Player of the Year.

Each Players Choice Award winner will designate the charity of his choice to receive a grant from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Winners will be announced following the season.

Jim Thome of the Philadelphia Phillies received the 2004 Man of the Year Award for his on-field leadership and commitment to charitable causes, including CapCure for Prostate Cancer Awareness, United Way, United Cerebral Palsy and the National Conference for Community and Justice. Past winners of the award named for the legendary baseball union leader have included John Smoltz, Eric Davis, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Paul Molitor.

2005 Players Choice Marvin Miller Man of the Year Divisional Winners

American League East

New York Yankees -- Derek Jeter: Created by Derek in his rookie season, the “Turn 2 Foundation” encourages children to adopt healthy lifestyles and focus on academics and leadership development. Since 1996, “Turn 2” has awarded over $4.5 million in grants to fund scholarships, camps, after-school programs, and substance abuse treatment and prevention initiatives. Derek himself fundraises for “Turn 2” by hosting annual golf tournaments and dinners.

American League Central

Kansas City Royals -- Mike Sweeney: Kansas City has benefited tremendously from Mike’s dedication to children via his involvement with Children’s Mercy Hospital and local chapters of the Boys & Girls Club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Youth Front. As spokesman for “Enjoy the Game”, Mike actively promotes teamwork and good sportsmanship. Mike also hosts area charity and non-profit groups at Royals games through his “Sween Team”.

American League West

Oakland A’s -- Barry Zito: This past spring, Barry founded “Strikeouts For Troops” to provide traditional comforts of home to recovering soldiers. He donates $100 to “Strikeouts for Troops” for every strikeout he records, and has persuaded 17 other MLB players to do the same. Barry also supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Special Olympics, and has danced in the Oakland Ballet’s Nutcracker to raise funds.

National League East

Atlanta Braves -- Andruw Jones: As Honorary Director of Jaden’s Ladder, Andruw donates time and money to survivors of domestic violence. He takes part in numerous team service efforts, including the Braves Foundation “Turkey Drop”, the team’s “Christmas in July” hospital and nursing home visits, and the “Atlanta Braves Dreams Come True” program. Andruw’s native Curacao also benefits from his generosity: he fully sponsors the island’s little league team.

National League Central

St. Louis Cardinals -- Albert Pujols: As spokesman for the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis, Albert dedicates much of his time to working with Down Syndrome patients. He also serves as chairman of the Buddy Walk Fund Raiser and the St. Louis Down Syndrome Association Golf Benefit. In addition, Albert and his wife regularly deliver teddy bears to children at Cardinal Glennon Hospital.

National League West

Colorado Rockies -- Todd Helton: Todd lends his support to organizations in both Colorado, where he currently resides, and Tennessee, where he grew up. In Knoxville, Todd hosts an annual golf tournament to raise money for the children’s hospital. Todd also makes regular visits to the children’s hospital in Denver, and is involved in the Care and Share Program, which donates equipment to sick kids.

The following players were 2005 Marvin Miller Man of the Year nominees, as selected by their teammates:

Arizona: Tony Clark; Atlanta: Andruw Jones; Baltimore: Brian Roberts; Boston: Tim Wakefield; Chicago Cubs: Kerry Wood; Chicago White Sox: Aaron Rowland; Cincinnati: Sean Casey; Cleveland: C.C. Sabathia; Colorado: Todd Helton; Detroit: Mike Maroth; Florida: Jeff Conine; Houston: Andy Pettitte; Kansas City: Mike Sweeney; Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Darin Erstad; Los Angeles Dodgers: Milton Bradley; Milwaukee: Ben Sheets; Minnesota: Jacque Jones; NY Mets: Tom Glavine; NY Yankees: Derek Jeter; Oakland: Barry Zito; Philadelphia: Bobby Abreu; Pittsburgh: Jack Wilson; St. Louis: Albert Pujols; San Diego: Dave Roberts; San Francisco: Mike Metheny; Seattle: Jamie Moyer; Tampa Bay: Toby Hall; Texas: Michael Young; Toronto: Roy Halladay; Washington Nationals: Brad Wilkerson.

The Major League Baseball Players Association (www.MLBPLAYERS.com) is the collective bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the thirty Major League Baseball teams and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League baseball players. On behalf of its members, it operates the Players Choice licensing program and Players Choice Awards, which benefit the needy through the Major League Baseball Players Trust, a charitable foundation established and run entirely by Major League baseball players.