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The Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award is presented by Major League Baseball (MLB) to the player who is judged to have "re-emerged on the baseball field during a given season."[1] The award was developed in 2005, as part of a sponsorship agreement between MLB and Viagra.[1] In 2005 and 2006 representatives from MLB and MLB.com selected six candidates each from the American (AL) and National Leagues (NL) and one winner for each league was selected via an online poll on MLB.com.[1][2] Since then, the winners have been selected by a panel of MLB beat reporters.[3][4] Under the current voting structure, first place votes are worth five points, second place votes worth three, and third place votes worth one with the award going to the player with the most points overall.[5]

Six players were named to the Major League Baseball All-Star team in their Comeback Award winning season: Jim Thome, Nomar Garciaparra, Dmitri Young, Cliff Lee, Brad Lidge, and Aaron Hill. Two players who were not named to the All-Star team in their winning year—Jason Giambi and Ken Griffey, Jr.—were named to the All-Star team in their previous season. Several players have won both The Sporting News (TSN) Comeback Player award and the MLB award in the same year, but Chris Carpenter is the only player to win the TSN (2004) and MLB (2009) awards for different years.[6] Several winners have won other awards in their winning season. Carlos Peña and Aaron Hill are the only players to win the Silver Slugger Award along with the Comeback Award. Lee won the Cy Young Award in his winning season and Lidge won both the Rolaids Relief Man and DHL Delivery Man Awards the same year. The most recent winners are Carpenter from the NL and Hill from the AL.

Contents

Award winners

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American League

Year Winner Image Team Position Comeback
2005 Giambi, JasonJason Giambi A man in a grey baseball uniform and navy blue batting helmet swings through a pitch. New York Yankees First baseman/
Designated hitter
Giambi underwent knee surgery before the 2004 season.[7] He also endured a variety of health problems during the season including an inflamed knee, a respiratory infection, an intestinal parasite infection, and a benign pituitary tumor.[8] As a result, Giambi appeared in just 80 games in the 162-game 2004 regular season, batting .208.[9] He returned to the Yankees in 2005 and led the American League in walks (108) and on-base percentage (.440).[9][10]
2006 Thome, JimJim Thome A man in a grey baseball uniform with "Chicago" on his chest in black with a black cap, black batting gloves, and a baseball bat under his arm. Chicago White Sox Designated hitter Thome experienced multiple elbow injuries during the 2005 season; appeared in just 59 out of a possible 162 regular season games, batting .205; and was traded to the White Sox from the Philadelphia Phillies in the offseason.[11][12] Thome was elected to the All-Star team in 2006, finishing the season with 42 home runs and 109 runs batted in.[12][2]
2007 Peña, CarlosCarlos Peña A man in a grey baseball uniform with "Rays" on the chest and "TB" on his blue batting helmet winces as he stops his swing. Tampa Bay Devil Rays First baseman Pena was released by the Detroit Tigers before the 2006 season. He signed with the New York Yankees, but never appeared in a Major League game for them and was released on August 16, 2006.[13] Finally the Boston Red Sox signed Pena and he appeared in just 18 Major League games,[13] spending the bulk of time in the minor leagues.[14] In 2007 Pena set Tampa Bay franchise records in home runs (46), runs batted in (121), and walks (103)[15] and won the Devil Rays' first Silver Slugger Award.[16]
2008 Lee, CliffCliff Lee A man in a grey baseball uniform with a blue cap throws a baseball. Cleveland Indians Starting pitcher Lee pitched 9713 innings in the Majors in 2007, going 5–8 with a 6.29 earned run average (ERA). He missed the first month of the season with an abdominal strain and was sent to the Triple-A minor league Buffalo Bisons mid-season. In 2008 he pitched 22313 innings, going 22–3 with a 2.54 ERA[17] and winning the Cy Young Award.[18]
2009 Hill, AaronAaron Hill A man in grey a baseball uniform with "Toronto" and "2" on the jersey and a black cap with the Toronto Blue Jays logo on it. Toronto Blue Jays Second baseman On May 29, 2008, Hill collided with former Blue Jays shortstop David Eckstein while fielding a fly ball and suffered a serious concussion.[19] He did not return to the Majors that season.[20] The injury was severe enough that Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston commented that "[s]ometimes people don't come back from concussions."[19] Hill did return in 2009, however, hitting 36 home runs (third most ever by an American League second baseman)[19] with 108 runs batted in, led the American League in plate appearances, and made the 2009 All-Star team.[21] Hill also won the Silver Slugger Award at second base.[22]

National League

Year Winner Image Team Position Comeback
2005 Griffey, Jr., KenKen Griffey, Jr. A man in a white baseball uniform with red sleeves and a red batting helmet with a white "C" on it watches the ball travel following his swing. Cincinnati Reds Center fielder Griffey experienced several serious injuries from 2000 to 2004 including a torn hamstring, a torn knee tendon, a dislocated shoulder, and torn ankle tissue.[8] His torn hamstring required major surgery in August 2004. He appeared in only 83 out of 162 games in the 2004 season.[8][23] Griffey returned in 2005, batted .301, and hit 35 home runs (his most in a season since 2000).[23]
2006 Garciaparra, NomarNomar Garciaparra Portrait of a man wearing a blue baseball cap with "LA" on it and sunglasses over it. Los Angeles Dodgers First baseman Garciaparra tore his groin while running out of the batter's box on April 20, 2005 and went on the disabled list.[24] He did not play in another Major League game until August 5[25] and appeared in only 62 of 162 games that season.[26] In 2006 Garciaparra batted .303, made the All-Star team, and made only four errors despite playing first base for the first time in his career.[2]
2007 Young, DmitriDmitri Young A man in a white baseball uniform with a red baseball cap and black glove plays in the field. Washington Nationals First baseman Young experienced several personal issues throughout the 2006 season, including a divorce, treatment for substance abuse and depression, and pleading guilty to assaulting his girlfriend. He was also released by the Detroit Tigers during the season,[27] appearing in only 48 of the 162 games in the 2006 season.[28] Young ended the 2007 season with a .320 batting average, which ranked 8th in the National League, and was named to the 2007 All-Star team.[28][29]
2008 Lidge, BradBrad Lidge A man in grey pants, a blue baseball jersey, and a red baseball cap with "P" on it jogs in the field Philadelphia Phillies Relief pitcher In 2006 and 2007, Lidge had 14 blown saves and a 4.37 earned run average (ERA) for the Houston Astros. Some attributed this lesser performance to a game-winning home run Albert Pujols hit off of him in the 2005 National League Championship Series.[30][31] In 2008, Lidge had a 1.95 ERA and converted 41 saves in 41 save chances,[31][32] winning both the Rolaids Relief Man and the DHL Delivery Man Awards.[33][34]
2009 Carpenter, ChrisChris Carpenter A man in a grey baseball uniform stands bent over with his right leg in the air having just pitched the ball to home plate. St. Louis Cardinals Starting pitcher Carpenter experienced a number of injuries including elbow surgery and Tommy John surgery in the 2007 season followed by shoulder surgery in the 2008 season,[5] allowing him to pitch just 6 innings in 2007 and 1513 in 2008. In 2009, however, Carpenter posted a 17–4 record over 19223 innings with a 2.24 earned run average (ERA),[35] the lowest ERA in the National League that year.[36]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Major League Baseball (August 24, 2005). "Major League Baseball, Pfizer announce the "Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award Presented by Viagra (sildenafil citrate)"". Press release. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20050824&content_id=1181967&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  2. ^ a b c Newman, Mark (October 7, 2006). "Nomar, Thome nab Comeback honors". Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061007&content_id=1703774&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  3. ^ Major League Baseball (October 2, 2007). "Pena, Young win 2007 MLB Comeback Player of the Year Awards". Press release. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20071002&content_id=2245429&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved October 22, 2009.  
  4. ^ Major League Baseball (October 5, 2009). "Carpenter, Hill win 2009 MLB Comeback Player of the Year Awards". Press release. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20091005&content_id=7336838&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved October 22, 2009.  
  5. ^ a b Leach, Matthew (October 5, 2009). "Carpenter earns NL Comeback nod". Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091005&content_id=7334122&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved October 5, 2009.  
  6. ^ Gillette, Gary and Palmer, Pete, ed (2007). The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.. p. 1769. ISBN 1-4027-4771-3. http://books.google.com/books?id=62ntg9bMH4AC&lpg=PT10&ots=BPopqhry10&dq=%22the%20sporting%20news%20comeback%20player%20of%20the%20year%20award%22&pg=PT9#v=onepage&q=%22the%20sporting%20news%20comeback%20player%20of%20the%20year%20award%22&f=false. Retrieved November 1, 2009.  
  7. ^ "Yankees give up three players in deal". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. December 14, 2003. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1678044. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  8. ^ a b c "Griffey, Giambi named comeback players of '05". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. October 6, 2005. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2182725. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  9. ^ a b "Jason Giambi Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/giambja01.shtml. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  10. ^ Major League Baseball (October 6, 2005). "Giambi, Griffey Jr. win 2005 Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award presented by Viagra (sildenafil citrate)". Press release. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20051006&content_id=1240230&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  11. ^ "White Sox send Rowand to Phils for Thome". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. November 25, 2005. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2236730. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  12. ^ a b "Jim Thome Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/thomeji01.shtml. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  13. ^ a b "Carlos Pena Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/penaca01.shtml. Retrieved September 23, 2009.  
  14. ^ "Carlos Pena Minor League Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=pena--002car. Retrieved September 23, 2009.  
  15. ^ Chastain, Bill (October 26, 2007). "Pena honored as AL comeback player". Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071026&content_id=2283280&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved September 23, 2009.  
  16. ^ Chastain, Bill (November 9, 2007). "Pena wins Rays' first Silver Slugger". Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071108&content_id=2296269&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved September 23, 2009.  
  17. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (September 30, 2008). "Tribe's Lee earns AL Comeback honor". Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080930&content_id=3574777&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved September 22, 2009.  
  18. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (November 13, 2008). "Lee wins 2008 AL Cy Young Award". Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081113&content_id=3677553&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved September 22, 2009.  
  19. ^ a b c Bastian, Jordan (October 5, 2009). "Hill named AL Comeback Player of Year". Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091005&content_id=7334270&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved October 5, 2009.  
  20. ^ "Aaron Hill 2008 Batting Gamelogs". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?n1=hillaa01&t=b&year=2008. Retrieved October 5, 2009.  
  21. ^ "Aaron Hill Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hillaa01.shtml. Retrieved October 5, 2009.  
  22. ^ "2009 Silver Slugger teams announced". Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20091112&content_id=7660622&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved 06 December 2009.  
  23. ^ a b "Ken Griffey Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/griffke02.shtml. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  24. ^ "Trainer: Surgery ultimately up to Garciaparra". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. April 22, 2005. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2042685. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  25. ^ "Nomar confident he can play first, stay healthy". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. December 20, 2005. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2264252. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  26. ^ "Nomar Garciaparra Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/garcino01.shtml. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  27. ^ LaPointe, Joe (June 28, 2007). "Young Hopes to Show Others How to Learn From Mistakes". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/28/sports/baseball/28nationals.html. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  28. ^ a b "Dmitri Young Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/y/youngdm01.shtml. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  29. ^ Ladson, Bill (October 26, 2007). "Young honored by Players Association". Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071026&content_id=2283333&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  30. ^ "Brad Lidge - Player Comments - 2007". Baseball Prospectus. Prospectus Entertainment Ventures. 2007. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/comments/index.php?playerId=25&commentYear=2007. Retrieved September 22, 2009.  
  31. ^ a b Mandel, Ken (September 30, 2008). "Lidge nabs NL Comeback honors". Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080930&content_id=3574728&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved September 22, 2009.  
  32. ^ "Brad Lidge Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/lidgebr01.shtml. Retrieved September 25, 2009.  
  33. ^ Horan, Keith (October 27, 2008). "Lidge named Delivery Man of the Year". Major League Baseball. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081027&content_id=3647755&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi. Retrieved September 22, 2009.  
  34. ^ "Rookie of the Year Awards & Rolaids Relief Award Winners". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/roy_rol.shtml. Retrieved September 22, 2009.  
  35. ^ "Chris Carpenter Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/carpech01.shtml. Retrieved October 5, 2009.  
  36. ^ "2009 National League Standard Pitching". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2009-standard-pitching.shtml. Retrieved October 5, 2009.  

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