Thousands of baseball fans participated in an Internet poll on MLBPLAYERS.com between September 10 and 13, to determine which players inspire others to higher levels of achievement by their on-field performances and contributions to their communities.
From a list of 30 players (one from every team), Adam Jones (Baltimore Orioles) was tabbed to represent the AL East, Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers) and David Robertson (Chicago White Sox) – TIE – the AL Central, Robinson Cano (Seattle Mariners) the AL West, Dee Gordon (Miami Marlins) the NL East, Skip Schumaker (Cincinnati Reds) the NL Central and Justin Turner (LA Dodgers) the NL West.
The above seven players will have their names placed on the 2015 Players Choice Awards ballot to determine this season’s Marvin Miller Man of the Year award winner. 2015 Players Choice Awards ballots will be distributed to all Major League players on Wednesday, September 16, when the accounting firm of KPMG conducts the league-wide, players-only voting.
2015 Players Choice Marvin Miller Man of the Year divisional winners as selected by the fans:
American League East
In 2015, the center fielder hosted a clinic with the MLBPA for inner city youth in West Baltimore following the unrest the city experienced this past spring. Adam provided hands-on instruction and encouragement to kids from James Mosher Little League. Adam has also participated in events to benefit the YMCA of Central Maryland, the Boys and Girls Club of Baltimore and Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities.
American League Central – TIE
The Miguel Cabrera Foundation was founded on Miguel’s belief that we can achieve great things when we work had, dream big and help others. His Foundation focuses on two areas: Revitalizing baseball fields in schools and neighborhoods where athletics can be used as a catalyst for student engagement and achievement and providing academic scholarships for students seeking a college education.
David, along with his wife, Erin, founded High Socks for Hope after tornadoes devastated his hometown of Tuscaloosa in 2011. The mission is to lend support to charities and organizations helping those affected by tragedies and to provide humanitarian services for individuals in need. High Socks for Hope has also provided aid to those affected by the tornado in Moore, Okla., as well as individuals in New York who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.
American League West
Robinson founded the RC22 Foundation to impact the lives of underserved children and communities both locally and globally. The Foundation has established and engaged in various initiatives that expand opportunities for improved outcomes in the areas of youth development and community healthcare including education, athletic programs, medical care, community good will and holiday programs. The RC22 Foundation has expanded its philanthropic footprint in Seattle through programs and partnerships focusing on education, health, fitness and wellness.
National League East
While with the Dodgers, Dee assisted with the LA Fund for Public Education’s School Fuel program to provide breakfast for more than 400,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. In the off-season, Dee participated in a Fitbit Celebrity Challenge to raise awareness and money for cardiovascular health. Dee also supports the Belchman Foundation to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s disease.
National League Central
Schumaker hosted the first-ever Reds Fantasy Football Challenge. The event benefitted Big League Impact, Jessie Rees Foundation, Reds Community Fund and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. What was supposed to be a one-time event has now turned into an annual event drawing overwhelming support and has included players on other teams to join the cause as well.
National League West
A regular participant of his teammate, Clayton Kershaw’s Ping Pong 4 a Purpose, Justin is always eager to give back to 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 filled with supplies including pencils, paper, and notebooks to families from the Echo Park, Rampart District, Skid Row, Lincoln Heights, South Central and Watts neighborhoods.
The 2015 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. 2015 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 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 2015 Players Choice Awards marks the 24th edition of the awards, which began in 1992 with AL & NL Outstanding Players (Dennis Eckersley and Barry Bonds, respectively.)
Clayton Kershaw was the recipient of the 2014 Man of the Year Award. Past winners of the award, named for the legendary baseball union leader, also include Mariano Rivera, Chipper Jones, Curtis Granderson, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Mike Sweeney, Jim Thome, John Smoltz, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Eric Davis and Paul Molitor.