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Jeter, Pujols Get 1st 'Radbourn Awards'
Special to TVPredictions.com

Washington, D.C. (November 14, 2010) --
New York Yankees Captain Derek Jeter and St. Louis Cardinals great Albert Pujols top the list of the winners of the 1st Annual 'Radbourn Award' for combined grit and greatness.

The award, named after Hall of Fame pitcher Old Hoss Radbourn, who set the all-time Major League record by doggedly winning 59 games in a single season, goes to the best and grittiest men in baseball at all nine positions.

“At 36, Jeter seems to be winding down offensively. But the example of toughness and leadership he provides the high-priced New York Yankees is invaluable,” said Edward Achorn, author of “Fifty-nine in ’84,” the acclaimed new book (published by HarperCollins) that explores Radbourn’s incredible season and the rugged individualism of America in his day.

(Click
Fifty-nine in '84 to learn more about Achorn's book on Radbourn.)

“Albert Pujols is a giant of toughness as well as talent. He refused surgery, defied bone spurs and chips in his left elbow, and turned in another brilliant season,” said Achorn. Pujols’ numbers: .312, 42 HR, 118 RBI.

Here’s the complete list of the winners of the 1st Annual Radbourn Award, which exemplifies the rare combination of Grit and Greatness in the game of baseball.

P – Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants  Lincecum is a throwback to pitchers like Radbourn. He’s only 5-11 and 170 pounds, but makes up for the lack of big legs and whip-like arms by working harder. He’s tough, determined and refuses to quit.

C – Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Washington Nationals. He’s aging and his numbers no longer sparkle (.266 BA in 2010). But the 5-9, 38-year-old future Hall of Famer overcame a back injury – try to catch with that! -- to provide much-needed leadership for a struggling team. 

1B – Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals.

2B – Dustin Pedroia, of the Boston Red Sox, is a gutsy little player with an oversized heart (roughly the same height, weight and toughness as Radbourn). He even tried to play on a broken left foot this year, but was forced to sit down. He hit only .288 with 12 home runs in a shortened season, but was battling back from a disappointing start and clubbed three home runs the day before he was injured. 

3B – Evan Longoria, the young star of the Tampa Bay Rays, played hard with a left quad strain that forced him to sit out the final 10 games of the regular season, but was not enough to stop him from playing in the post-season. 

SS – Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees.

LF – Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers excels even when playing hurt. Though he suffered recurring pain in his side, the young “Hebrew Hammer” turned in his fourth splendid season as a big-leaguer: .304, 25 home runs and 103 RBI.  

CF – Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers. Hamilton did something truly amazing in battling back from drug and alcohol addiction, and then sticking to his resolve, one day at a time. Look at him now: one of the greatest in the game. Hamilton’s monster numbers for 2010 included a .359 batting average, 32 home runs, and 100 RBI

RF – Ichiro Suzuki, 37, of the Seattle Mariners, turned in another hard-hitting, Gold Glove season. A tough, independent-minded competitor and devoted student of hitting, he admires the beauty of the single as much as the home run. During the 2010 season, he made a point of visiting the Queens, N.Y., grave of Hall of Famer “Wee Willie” Keeler, whose Major League record of eight straight 200-hit seasons Suzuki bested. Keeler, a gritty 19th century star, offered earlier hitters advice that Suzuki seemed to follow: “Keep your eye clear, and hit ’em where they ain’t.”

For more information on Ed Achorn's book, Fifty-nine in '84, click below:

Fifty-nine in '84


 


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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions.com. He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at swann@tvpredictions.com or at 703-505-3064.

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