DETROIT -- In a pre-game ceremony tonight, Tigers pitcher, Justin Verlander, will be honored as 2006 American League Outstanding Rookie. Selected in a secret ballot of all players in the American League, Justin received the Players Choice Award for an outstanding rookie season in which he led all first-year pitchers in wins, and tied for fourth in wins among all pitchers in the Majors, with a record of 17-9. He also finished the season with a 3.63 ERA and 124 strikeouts. Former Major League pitcher, Steve Rogers, a special assistant with the Major League Baseball Players Association, will present Justin with his trophy.
In the Virginia natives honor, the Major League Baseball Players Trust will award a $10,000 grant to his home state-based Bond Secours Richmond Healthcare Foundation, while Michigan chapters of the Humane Society and American Red Cross will each receive $5,000 grants from the Players Trust. 2006 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing over $3 million to charities around the world.
Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. In partnership with Volunteers of America, the national human service organization, the Players Trust created and helps administer the Action Team, a national youth volunteer program currently inspiring the next generation of volunteers in cities throughout the United States. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com.
The Players Choice Awards winners (Outstanding Pitchers, Rookies, Comeback Players, Player of the Year and the Marvin Miller Man of the Year) were selected by secret ballot of all Major League baseball players, under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.
The 2006 Players Choice Awards Winners & Runners-up (winners in bold type):
Outstanding Player: David Ortiz (Boston), Derek Jeter (NY Yankees), Jermaine Dye (Chicago White Sox)
Outstanding Pitcher: Roy Halladay (Toronto), Johan Santana (Minnesota), Justin Verlander (Detroit)
Outstanding Rookie: Francisco Liriano (Minnesota), Jonathan Papelbon (Boston), Justin Verlander (Detroit)
Comeback Player of the Year: Magglio Ordonez (Detroit), Frank Thomas (Oakland), Jim Thome (Chicago White Sox)
Outstanding Player: Miguel Cabrera (Florida), Ryan Howard (Philadelphia), Albert Pujols (St. Louis)
Outstanding Pitcher: Chris Carpenter (St. Louis), Brandon Webb (Arizona), Carlos Zambrano (Chicago Cubs)
Outstanding Rookie: Prince Fielder (Milwaukee), Dan Uggla (Florida), Ryan Zimmerman (Washington)
Comeback Player of the Year: Joe Borowski (Florida), Nomar Garciaparra (Los Angeles Dodgers), Scott Rolen (St. Louis)
Player of the Year: Ryan Howard (Philadelphia), David Ortiz (Boston), Albert Pujols (St. Louis)
Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Albert Pujols (St. Louis), John Smoltz (Atlanta), Jim Thome (Chicago White Sox)