Vladimir Guerrero, who cracked 29 homers to help lift the Rangers to the American League West title, and Tim Hudson, who bounced back from Tommy John surgery to win 17 games for the Braves, won the Players Choice Awards for outstanding comebacks in their respective leagues.
The Comeback Player Award was the first of the 10 Players Choice Awards that were being announced from Monday through Friday on ESPN Radio and presented by Majestic Athletic and 2K Sports. The Players Choice Awards are highly respected by players because they are given by their peers.
Guerrero, who had appeared in just 100 games for the Angels in 2009, also returned to the All-Star Game this season as the Rangers' designated hitter. He finished the regular season batting .300 with 115 RBIs (fourth in AL). His 29 homers were the most he's hit in a single season since hitting 33 in 2006.
Hudson underwent Tommy John surgery on Aug. 8, 2008, and missed all but the final month of the 2009 season. After finishing 2-1 in seven starts in 2009 and proving himself healthy, Hudson never looked back in 2010. He went 17-9 with a 2.83 ERA, good for sixth in the National League, over 228 2/3 innings and made the All-Star team for the first time since 2004.
Freddy Garcia and Francisco Liriano were the runners-up in the AL player voting, while R.A. Dickey and Aubrey Huff were the finalists in the NL.
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.
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.
The complete list of 2010 Players Choice Awards finalists is below as well as the ESPN Radio broadcast schedule for the awards announcements.
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)
ESPN Radio broadcast schedule for 2010 Players Choice Awards
Monday, Oct. 25 - AL/NL Comeback Players - Scott Van Pelt (1-4 p.m. ET)
Tuesday, Oct. 26 - AL/NL Outstanding Rookies - Scott Van Pelt (1-4 p.m. ET)
Wednesday, Oct. 27 - NL Outstanding Player - Scott Van Pelt (1-4 p.m. ET)
Wednesday, Oct. 27 - AL Outstanding Player - Doug Gottlieb (4-7 p.m. ET)
Thursday, Oct. 28 - AL/NL Outstanding Pitchers - Mike & Mike (6-10 a.m. ET)
Friday, Oct. 29 - Marvin Miller Man of the Year & Player of the Year - Mike & Mike (6-10 a.m. ET)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.