NEW YORK -- Major League baseball players today announced the finalists for their highest honors -- the Players Choice Awards -- in which the players themselves recognize excellence on and off the field. Winners of the 2011 Players Choice Awards will be announced exclusively on MLB Network, Thursday, Nov. 3, from 8-9 p.m. ET during the broadcast of The 2011 Players Choice Awards Presented by 2K Sports. The Players Choice Awards program benefits the Major League Baseball Players Trust.
Finalists for Player of the Year are Adrian Gonzalez (Boston Red Sox), Curtis Granderson (New York Yankees) and Justin Verlander (Detroit Tigers). Gonzalez led the Major Leagues in hits (213) and finished second among American League hitters in batting average (.338) and total bases (345), third in RBI (117) and on-base percentage (.410), and fifth in extra-base hits (75). Granderson guided the Yankees to the AL East division title by leading the Major Leagues in runs scored (136) and finishing second in home runs (41), third in RBI (119), and fourth in extra-base hits (77). Verlander won the AL pitching Triple Crown by leading the American League in ERA (2.40) and finishing first among all Major League pitchers in wins (24), strikeouts (250), opponents' batting average (.192), WHIP (0.92) and innings pitched (251.0).
Leading the voting for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, given annually to the player who inspires others to higher levels of achievement by his on-field performances and contributions to his community, are Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox), Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals) and Michael Young (Texas Rangers). Konerko created the Bring Me Home Campaign in partnership with Children's Home + Aid of Illinois to advocate for foster care and raise funds to support abused and neglected children. Wainwright is a champion for the Catch-A-Dream Foundation, which provides once-in-a-lifetime hunting and fishing trips to children with life-threatening illnesses. Young provides college scholarships to cancer survivors and Hispanic students through his Young Heroes Scholarship Program and helps to improve children's health through The Michael Young Family Foundation.
Players Choice Awards have been presented annually since 1992 when Major Leaguers selected Dennis Eckersley and Barry Bonds as the AL & NL Outstanding Players, respectively. Today, the players annually honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher and comeback player in each league, while the Player of the Year and Man of the Year awards bestow top honors without regard to league. Balloting for the 2011 Players Choice Awards was conducted in mid-September under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.
2011 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 Players Trust raises funds and attention for issues affecting the needy and promotes community involvement. Since 1992, the Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing more than $3 million to charities around the world. For additional information, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com or visit the Players Trust channel on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/MLBPlayersTrust.
The 2011 Players Choice Awards Presented by 2K Sports will be hosted by MLB Network's Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds.
2011 Players Choice Awards finalists
Outstanding Player: Jose Bautista (Toronto), Adrian Gonzalez (Boston), Curtis Granderson (NY Yankees)
Outstanding Pitcher: James Shields (Tampa Bay), Justin Verlander (Detroit), Jered Weaver (LA Angels)
Outstanding Rookie: Jeremy Hellickson (Tampa Bay), Eric Hosmer (Kansas City), Mark Trumbo (LA Angels)
Comeback Player: Bartolo Colon (NY Yankees), Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston), Casey Kotchman (Tampa Bay)
Outstanding Player: Ryan Braun (Milwaukee), Matt Kemp (LA Dodgers), Justin Upton (Arizona)
Outstanding Pitcher: Roy Halladay (Philadelphia), Ian Kennedy (Arizona), Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers)
Outstanding Rookie: Freddie Freeman (Atlanta), Craig Kimbrel (Atlanta), Vance Worley (Philadelphia)
Comeback Player: Lance Berkman (St. Louis), Jose Reyes (NY Mets), Ryan Vogelsong (San Francisco)
Player of Year: Adrian Gonzalez (Boston), Curtis Granderson, Jr. (NY Yankees), Justin Verlander (Detroit)
Man of the Year: Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox), Adam Wainwright (St. Louis), Michael Young (Texas)
For complete list of previous winners, please click here.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.