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Press Release

11/03/2005 2:03 PM ET
Major League Baseball players announce 2005 Players Choice Award winners
Andruw Jones is players choice for Player of the Year and National League Outstanding Player; Mike Sweeney chosen as Marvin Miller Man of the Year

NEW YORK -- Major League baseball players named Andruw Jones of the Atlanta Braves as Player of the Year, when they today announced the winners of the 2005 Players Choice Awards. Jones, also chosen the National League's Outstanding Player, helped guide the Braves to their 14th consecutive NL East Division championship, by leading all Major Leaguers with 51 home runs and all National Leaguers with 128 RBI.

Jones, the NL Player of the Month for June and August, set the club record for homers in a season, and he reached the 40-home run mark quicker than any player in club history (126 games). He became just the 12th player in history to reach 300 career home runs before the age of 30, when he reached that milestone at Philadelphia on September 14.

The 2005 Players Choice Marvin Miller Man of the Year winner is Kansas City Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney. 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. Sweeney and his wife, Shara, have donated $100,000 to build an inner-city stadium in Kansas City, and he created the "Swing for Sweeney" program, pledging $100 for each RBI during the 2005 season, to name just two of the many charitable endeavors he has undertaken. His community involvement inspired kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City to name him their "Role Model of the Year," in January 2005. On the field, he led the Royals with a .300 batting average and added 21 home runs and 83 RBI despite being limited to 121 games because of injury.

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was selected AL Outstanding Player after posting some impressive numbers in 2005. Ortiz' 148 RBIs led the majors, and his mark of 47 home runs ranked third on the season. The Red Sox' slugger hit 43 of his 47 homers as a designated hitter, breaking Edgar Martinez's record of 37 in 2000. Ortiz also furthered his reputation as a clutch player, hitting .396 when he had the opportunity (in the seventh inning or later) to tie or put the Red Sox ahead. He now totals 119 home runs in his three seasons in Boston.

Los Angeles Angels starter Bartolo Colon, captured the American League's Outstanding Pitcher award, by finishing the season as the AL's only 20-game winner, going 21-8 with two complete games. This mark made him the first Angels' pitcher, since Nolan Ryan in 1974, to win 20 or more games. Colon's 3.48 ERA and 157 strikeouts also ranked in the Top 10 among AL starters.

The National League's Outstanding Pitcher award went to the St. Louis Cardinals' ace, Chris Carpenter. Carpenter was the only pitcher to finish in the top five in all three of Major League Baseball's "Triple Crown" pitching categories. He threw 213 strikeouts to finish second in the majors, tied Colon for second with 21 wins, and posted the MLB's fifth-best ERA at 2.83. This is Carpenter's second Player's Choice award, after being voted the 2004 National League Comeback Player of the Year.

The National League's Outstanding Rookie award went to center fielder Willy Taveras of the Houston Astros. Taveras' 172 hits, 82 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases led all rookies in the NL. The Astros' speedster started 143 regular-season games and led the majors in infield hits, tallying 71. His .291 batting average ranked among the top 20 in the NL.

Oakland A's reliever Huston Street was named Outstanding Rookie for the American League. Street saved 23 games in 2005, leading all MLB rookies. He also crushed the A's rookie save record of 12, set in 1969 by Rollie Fingers. Street's ERA of 1.72 ranked second among all AL relievers and was the third lowest in A's history based on a minimum of 70 innings pitched.

The National League's Comeback Player of the Year was awarded to Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds. Griffey came back from a string of injuries, most notably tearing his right hamstring from the bone. The center fielder had a revolutionary surgery performed in August 2004, having the hamstring reattached with three screws. After months of rehab, Griffey came back to post a .301 batting average, as well as hit 35 home runs and 92 RBIs. This will be Griffey's third Player's Choice award after being named Player of the Decade in 1999 and AL Player of the Year in 1997.

Rounding out the 2005 awards is New York Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi, the Players Choice for American League Comeback Player of the Year. Giambi came back from a list of problems, which included a benign pituitary tumor, inflamed knee, and respiratory and intestinal infections. Giambi finished the season with 32 home runs, hitting his 300th career home run against the Los Angeles Angels on July 31st. He also led the AL in walks with 108 and on-base percentage at .440.

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 13 & 14.

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. 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 2005 Players Choice Awards Winners & Runners-up (winners in bold type):

AMERICAN LEAGUE:
•   Outstanding Player: David Ortiz (Boston), Alex Rodriguez (NY Yankees), Mark Teixeira (Texas)
•   Outstanding Pitcher: Mark Buehrle (Chicago White Sox), Bartolo Colon (LA Angels), Jon Garland (Chicago White Sox)
•   Outstanding Rookie: Gustavo Chacin (Toronto), Jonny Gomes (Tampa Bay), Huston Street (Oakland)
•   Comeback Player of the Year: Jason Giambi (NY Yankees), Richie Sexson (Seattle), Bob Wickman (Cleveland)

NATIONAL LEAGUE:
•   Outstanding Player: Andruw Jones (Atlanta), Derrek Lee (Chicago Cubs), Albert Pujols (St. Louis)
•   Outstanding Pitcher: Chris Carpenter (St. Louis), Roger Clemens (Houston), Dontrelle Willis (Florida)
•   Outstanding Rookie: Jeff Francoeur (Atlanta), Ryan Howard (Philadelphia), Willy Taveras (Houston)
•   Comeback Player of the Year: Tony Clark (Arizona), Ken Griffey Jr. (Cincinnati), Todd Jones (Florida)

EITHER LEAGUE:
•   Player of the Year: Andruw Jones (Atlanta), Derrek Lee (Chicago Cubs), Albert Pujols (St. Louis)
•   Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Derek Jeter (NY Yankees), Albert Pujols (St. Louis), Mike Sweeney (Kansas City)

•   Complete list of past Players Choice Awards winners >

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.