Jeter, Pujols Get 1st 'Radbourn Awards'
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.
to learn more about Achorn's book
“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
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.
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
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
SS – Derek Jeter of the New
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
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.”
more information on Ed Achorn's book, Fifty-nine in '84,
Fifty-nine in '84