Curtis Granderson, Lance McCullers, Rob Refsnyder, Anthony Rizzo, David Robertson & Justin Turner
selected by fans as division winners for 2016 Marvin Miller Man of the Year award
These six placed on 2016 Players Choice Awards ballots for league-wide
player voting on Tuesday, September 20
Thousands of baseball fans participated in an Internet poll on www.MLBPlayers.com between September 13 and 18 to determine which players inspire others to higher levels of achievement by their on-field performances and contributions to their communities.
From this list of 30 players, Rob Refsnyder (New York Yankees) was tabbed to represent the AL East, David Robertson (Chicago White Sox) the AL Central, Lance McCullers (Houston Astros) the AL West, Curtis Granderson (New York Mets) the NL East, Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs) the NL Central and Justin Turner (LA Dodgers) the NL West.
These six players will have their names placed on the 2016 Players Choice Awards ballot to determine this season’s Marvin Miller Man of the Year award winner. 2016 Players Choice Awards ballots will be distributed to all Major League players on Tuesday, September 20, when the accounting firm of KPMG conducts the league-wide, players-only voting.
The 2016 Players Choice Awards also honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher and comeback player in each league, as well as the overall Player of the Year. 2016 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 (including a $50,000 charitable contribution on behalf of the Man of the Year winner) from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. The Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing more than $4 million to charities around the world.
The 2016 Players Choice Awards marks the 25th edition of the awards, which began in 1992 with AL & NL Outstanding Players (Dennis Eckersley and Barry Bonds, respectively.)
Adam Jones was the recipient of the 2015 Man of the Year Award. Past winners of the award, named for the legendary baseball union leader, also include Clayton Kershaw, Mariano Rivera, Chipper Jones, Granderson, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Mike Sweeney, Jim Thome, John Smoltz, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Eric Davis and Paul Molitor.
Also on Tuesday, players will cast their votes for the “Always Game” award winner, presented by Majestic Athletic. “Always Game” will be presented to a player who – game in and game out – constantly exhibits grit, tenacity, perseverance and hustle; all for the benefit of his teammates and fans. The finalists for the “Always Game” award – one representing each division and compiled by Majestic Athletic after consulting with a panel of baseball experts – are Jose Altuve (AL West), Xander Bogaerts (AL East), Francisco Lindor (AL Central), Starling Marte (NL Central), Corey Seager (NL West) and Noah Syndergaard (NL East.)
The players below were nominated by their teammates for the 2016 Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, and each will receive a $2,500 grant from the Players Trust to be donated to the charity of his choice.
Arizona Diamondbacks – AJ Pollack; Atlanta Braves – Matt Wisler; Baltimore Orioles – Manny Machado; Boston Red Sox – Brock Holt; Chicago Cubs – Anthony Rizzo; Chicago White Sox – David Robertson; Cincinnati Reds – Michael Lorenzen; Cleveland Indians – Mike Napoli; Colorado Rockies – Carlos Gonzalez; Detroit Tigers – Justin Verlander; Houston Astros – Lance McCullers; Kansas City Royals – Eric Hosmer; Los Angeles Angels – Albert Pujols; Los Angeles Dodgers – Justin Turner; Miami Marlins – Mike Dunn; Milwaukee Brewers – Ryan Braun; Minnesota Twins – Kyle Gibson; New York Mets – Curtis Granderson; New York Yankees – Rob Refsnyder; Oakland Athletics – Stephen Vogt; Philadelphia Phillies – Ryan Howard; Pittsburgh Pirates – Josh Harrison ; San Diego Padres – Jon Jay; San Francisco Giants – Jake Peavy; Seattle Mariners – Nelson Cruz; St. Louis Cardinals – Adam Wainwright; Tampa Bay Rays – Chris Archer; Texas Rangers – Ian Desmond; Toronto Blue Jays – Devon Travis; Washington Nationals – Ryan Zimmerman
2016 Players Choice Marvin Miller Man of the Year Divisional Winners
American League East
Rob, who was adopted out of South Korea when he was just three months old, partnered with Athletes Brand to design a t-shirt that simply says “Overachieve” – a quote that embodies his drive for success — with profits benefitting A Kids Place, a Tampa Bay- area organization that works to provide stability and care for kids removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment.
American League Central
David, along with his wife, Erin, founded High Socks for Hope after tornadoes devastated his hometown of Tuscaloosa in 2011. In addition, they created Rick’s Fund in 2016 to honor Erin’s father Rick, who lost a heroic battle to pancreatic cancer. Because of David’s caring, personal donations and participation in fundraising events, thousands of natural disaster survivors, homeless veterans and individuals fighting cancer have been helped through his charities, including victims of tornadoes in Okla., Hurricane Sandy and the recent floods in Louisiana.
American League West
Lance and his wife, Kara, share a passion for pet rescue. Together, they founded the Lance McCullers Jr. Foundation to invest, bring awareness and create programs aimed at advocates for stray and homeless animals across the country. Their goal is to support shelters and programs that promote pet adoption and work toward their goal of making Houston a no-kill city. Lance and Kara have partnered with causes like ‘Houston Pets Alive’ to raise awareness and funds for animal adoptions and no-kill sanctuaries.
National League East
Through his Grand Kids Foundation, Curtis inspires and encourages positive youth development via education, physical fitness and nutrition – providing tools and resources for educational and societal advancement. Curtis hosts a number of annual events including Grand-Giving fundraiser in support of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, spring training and winter youth clinics and creative writing competitions for students.
National League Central
The three-time all-star founded the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation to raise money for cancer research and to provide support to children and their families battling the disease. Annual fundraisers including “Cook off for Cancer” and “Laugh off for Cancer” have raised funds for organizations including Ann & Robert Children’s Hospital, Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Joe Dimaggio Children’s Hospital, Family Research Foundation and University of Miami Health Systems.
National League West
A regular participant of his teammate, Clayton Kershaw’s Ping Pong 4 a Purpose, Justin is always active in his local community. This past August, he joined the Los Angeles Dream Center for their annual Back to School Bash in distributing 2,000 backpacks, each field with supplies including pencils, paper, and notebooks to families from the Echo Park, Rampart District, Skid Row, Lincoln Heights, South Central and Watts neighborhoods.