Pujols, Carpenter Earn Players Choice Awards

Posted Nov 8, 2006

Albert Pujols was named Man of the Year and Chris Carpenter was tabbed National League Outstanding Pitcher in the 2006 Players Choice Awards, voted upon by their peers in the Major League Baseball Players’ Association.

Major League Baseball players voted St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols as their 2006 Players Choice Marvin Miller Man of the Year winner. The Man of the Year award, named in honor of the MLBPA’s first executive director, is given to the player in either league whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher levels of achievement.


On the field, Pujols hit .331 with 49 home runs and 137 RBI, helping the Cardinals win the 2006 World Series.  In the community, Albert and his wife Deidre are the founders of the Pujols Family Foundation, which is dedicated to the love, care, and development of people with Down Syndrome and their families.  In addition to a golf tournament, Albert conducts fund raising live auctions, at which he has been known to buy some of the expensive items and then give the gifts to a child with Down Syndrome in attendance. The Pujols family dedicates their time not only to those with Down Syndrome, but also to the impoverished children and orphans of the Dominican Republic by donating money and time for education and gifts.  

For the second consecutive year, the National League’s Outstanding Pitcher award went to the St. Louis Cardinals right hander, Chris Carpenter.  Carpenter finished the season with a 15-8 record, a 3.09 ERA, second best in the NL, and 184 strikeouts.  He was selected to his second straight All-Star game and was the ace of the World Series Champion Cardinals.  This marks the third Players Choice award for the right hander since he was honored with the 2005 National League Outstanding Pitcher and the 2004 National League Comeback Player awards.  


Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies was named Player of the Year and the National League’s Outstanding Player. He helped keep the Phillies playoff hopes alive in the National League Wild Card race during the stretch run with his Major League leading 58 home runs and 149 RBI.

Howard, the NL Player of the Month for August and September, set the club record for homers in a season, surpassing Mike Schmidt’s mark of 48 during the 1980 season.  He won the 2006 Home Run Derby at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, belting a total of 23 home runs to beat out David Wright of the Mets.  The second year slugger was also selected to his first All-Star game and played in the Major League Baseball All-Star series in Japan against the Nippon Professional Baseball stars.  

Chicago White Sox right fielder Jermaine Dye was selected the American League Outstanding Player after posting some impressive numbers in 2006.  While batting a team leading .315, Dye smacked 44 home runs and drove in 120 runs, which placed him second in the American League in both categories.  His home run total moved him into second place on the all time single season list for the Chicago White Sox franchise.  Also, Dye finished in the top five for the American League in RBI, OPS (on-base plus slugging), and extra base hits.  Although the White Sox fell short of the playoffs, Dye closed his season strong, hitting .329 with 24 home runs in the second half of the season, including 52 RBI in the final 57 games.

Minnesota Twins starter Johan Santana captured the American League’s Outstanding Pitcher award by finishing the season as one of two AL pitchers with 19 wins, tying him  with Chien-Mien Wang of the Yankees for the league lead.  With his Major League leading 2.77 ERA, Santana was the only starter in the American League to post a sub-3.00 ERA.  Santana also led the majors with 245 strikeouts.  The lefty was named the AL Pitcher of the Month in July and was selected to his second career All-Star game.  One of the most durable pitchers in the league, Santana propelled the Twins to the American League Central title by posting a 9-0 record and a 2.51 ERA in 13 starts from July 15-September 15.  This is Santana’s second Players Choice award, after being named the American League Outstanding Pitcher for the 2004 season.

The National League’s Outstanding Rookie award went to second baseman Dan Uggla of the Florida Marlins. Uggla hit .282 with 27 home runs and 90 RBI, both second among rookies.  The Marlins’ youngster set the Marlins’ franchise and rookie records, as well as the Major League Baseball rookie record, for home runs by a second baseman. Uggla was named to the All-Star game and, was tabbed Co-Rookie of the Month for June along with teammate Josh Johnson.  He is the second Marlin to win a Players Choice award for National League Outstanding Rookie, joining Preston Wilson who won the award in 1999.

Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander was named the Outstanding Rookie for the American League.  The flame throwing Verlander wrapped up his first season in the big leagues at 17-9, with a 3.63 ERA and 124 strikeouts.  His 17 wins led all rookies and tied him for fourth in the majors.  He was honored as the American League Rookie of the Month for May and was a key component of the Tigers’ World Series run.  Verlander is the first starter to be named the American League’s Outstanding Rookie and only the second pitcher to win the award.

The National League’s Comeback Player of the Year was awarded to Nomar Garciaparra of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Garciaparra came back from a string of injuries in 2005, most notably a left groin avulsion of the adductor muscle.  After months of rehab, Garciaparra batted .303, slugged 20 home runs, knocked in 93 runs and was selected by the fans to the National League All-Star Team.  This is Garciaparra’s second Players Choice award after being named the American League’s Outstanding Rookie in 1997.

Rounding out the 2006 awards is Oakland Athletics designated hitter Frank Thomas, the Players Choice for American League Comeback Player of the Year.  Thomas was plagued by a bad ankle in 2005, missing all but 34 games with two separate fractures in his ankle.  This season, Thomas, in his first year with the Athletics, carried the Oakland offense by hitting .270 with 39 home runs and 114 RBI.  Both his home run and RBI total were single season franchise records among designated hitters.  This is Thomas’ fourth Players Choice Award, including his second Comeback Player award after being named the Players Choice for American League Comeback Player in 2000.  Thomas also won the 1993 and 1994 American League Outstanding Player awards.

The Players Choice Awards winners are selected by all Major League players via secret balloting at ballparks under the supervision of KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm. This year’s vote took place on September 12 & 13.

Each Players Choice Award winner will designate the charity of his choice to receive a grant from the Players Trust, a not-for-profit foundation created and administered by the players, in an amount ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. To date, the Players Trust has distributed over $2.75 million to 155 charities through the Players Choice Awards program.   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. The Players Trust makes financial and in-kind contributions to charities around the world.

The 2006 Players Choice Awards Winners & Runners-up (winners underlined and 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)

Past Players Choice Awards winners:

Player of the Year: Andruw Jones; Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Mike Sweeney;
Outstanding Player, AL: David Ortiz; Outstanding Player, NL: Andruw Jones;
Outstanding Pitcher, AL: Bartolo Colon; Outstanding Pitcher, NL: Chris Carpenter;
Outstanding Rookie, AL: Huston Street; Outstanding Rookie, NL: Willy Taveras;
Comeback Player, AL: Jason Giambi; Comeback Player, NL: Ken Griffey, Jr.

Player of the Year: Barry Bonds; Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Jim Thome; Outstanding Player, AL: Ichiro Suzuki; Outstanding Player, NL: Barry Bonds; Outstanding Pitcher, AL: Johan Santana; Outstanding Pitcher, NL: Jason Schmidt; Outstanding Rookie, AL: Bobby Crosby; Outstanding Rookie, NL: Jason Bay; Comeback Player, AL: Orlando Hernandez; Comeback Player, NL: Chris Carpenter

Player of the Year: Albert Pujols; Marvin Miller Man of the Year: John Smoltz; Outstanding Player, AL: Alex Rodriguez; Outstanding Player, NL: Albert Pujols; Outstanding Pitcher, AL: Roy Halladay; Outstanding Pitcher, NL: Eric Gagne; Outstanding Rookie, AL: Angel Berroa; Outstanding Rookie, NL: Scott Podsednik; Comeback Player, AL: Estaban Loaiza; Comeback Player, NL: Rod Beck

Player of the Year: Alex Rodriguez; Marvin Miller Man of the Year: John Smoltz; Outstanding Player, AL: Alex Rodriguez; Outstanding Player, NL: Barry Bonds; Outstanding Pitcher, AL: Barry Zito; Outstanding Pitcher, NL: Curt Schilling; Outstanding Rookie, AL: Eric Hinske; Outstanding Rookie, NL: Jason Jennings; Comeback Player, AL: Tim Salmon; Comeback Player, NL: Mike Lieberthal & John Smoltz (tie)

Player of the Year: Barry Bonds; Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Jim Thome; Outstanding Player, AL: Alex Rodriguez; Outstanding Player, NL: Barry Bonds; Outstanding Pitcher, AL: Roger Clemens; Outstanding Pitcher, NL: Curt Schilling; Outstanding Rookie, AL: Ichiro Suzuki; Outstanding Rookie, NL: Albert Pujols; Comeback Player, AL: Ruben Sierra; Comeback Player, NL: Matt Morris

Player of the Year: Carlos Delgado; Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Eric Davis; Outstanding Player, AL: Carlos Delgado; Outstanding Player, NL: Todd Helton; Outstanding Pitcher, AL: Pedro Martinez; Outstanding Pitcher, NL: Randy Johnson; Outstanding Rookie, AL: Terrence Long; Outstanding Rookie, NL: Rafael Furcal; Comeback Player, AL: Frank Thomas; Comeback Player, NL: Andres Galarraga

Player of the Decade: Ken Griffey; Player of the Year: Pedro Martinez; Man of the Year: Sammy Sosa; Outstanding Player, AL: Manny Ramirez; Outstanding Player, NL: Chipper Jones; Outstanding Pitcher, AL: Pedro Martinez; Outstanding Pitcher, NL: Mike Hampton; Outstanding Rookie, AL: Carlos Beltran; Outstanding Rookie, NL: Preston Wilson; Comeback Player, AL: John Jaha; Comeback Player, NL: Alex Fernandez

Player of the Year: Mark McGwire; Man of the Year: Paul Molitor; Outstanding Player, AL: Alex Rodriguez; Outstanding Player, NL: Sammy Sosa; Outstanding Pitcher, AL: (tie) Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens; Outstanding Pitcher, NL: Greg Maddux; Outstanding Rookie, AL: Ben Grieve; Outstanding Rookie, NL: Kerry Wood; Comeback Player, AL: Eric Davis; Comeback Player, NL: Greg Vaughn

Man of the Year: Mark McGwire; Outstanding Player, AL: Ken Griffey, Jr.; Outstanding Player, NL: Larry Walker; Outstanding Pitcher, AL: Roger Clemens; Outstanding Pitcher, NL: Pedro Martinez; Outstanding Rookie, AL: Nomar Garciaparra; Outstanding Rookie, NL: Scott Rolen; Comeback Player, AL: David Justice; Comeback Player, NL: Darren Daulton

Outstanding Player, AL: Alex Rodriguez; Outstanding Player, NL: Ken Caminiti; Outstanding Pitcher, AL: Pat Hentgen; Outstanding Pitcher, NL: John Smoltz; Outstanding Rookie, AL: Derek Jeter; Outstanding Rookie, NL: Todd Hollandsworth

Outstanding Player, AL: Albert Belle; Outstanding Player, NL: Dante Bichette; Outstanding Pitcher, AL: Randy Johnson; Outstanding Pitcher, NL: Greg Maddux; Outstanding Rookie, AL: Marty Cordova; Outstanding Rookie, NL: Chipper Jones

Outstanding Player, AL: Frank Thomas; Outstanding Player, NL: Jeff Bagwell; Outstanding Pitcher, AL: Jimmy Key; Outstanding Pitcher, NL: Greg Maddux; Outstanding Rookie, AL: Bob Hamelin; Outstanding Rookie, NL: Raul Mondesi

Outstanding Player, AL: Frank Thomas ; Outstanding Player, NL: Barry Bonds

Outstanding Player, AL: Dennis Eckersley; Outstanding Player, NL: Barry Bonds

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.


Related Stories
Baseball Men - The Critic
 -by TheCardinalNation.com  Nov 8, 2006
Baseball Men - The Doctor
 -by TheCardinalNation.com  Nov 9, 2006
BP’s Joe Sheehan on the Cardinals – Part Two
 -by TheCardinalNation.com  Nov 7, 2006

> Members-only Forums
> Insider Information
> MiLB &
   MLB Draft News
> Expert Chats

Sign Up Today!

Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from TheCardinalNation.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Baseball > St. Louis
[View My HotList]