Since I have been on an awards kick this week (I know I still owe you the rest of the Sporting New’s awards!! I’ll get there! LOL), but today the winners of the 2014 Hank Aaron Award winners were announced:
For the American League (big surprise here): Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Mike Trout led the league in runs scored for the third year in a row. He also lead the American League with 111 RBIs. He finished the season batting .287 with 36 home runs and posting a .939 OPS.
Trout was unable to attend the ceremony which was held Saturday prior to the game four of the World Series at AT&T Park in San Francisco. He reportedly sent in a video in which he said,
“Just to be associated with Hank Aaron and all the greats in the game, it means a lot to me. I’m sincerely honored and humbled to accept this award.”
For the National League: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
Giancarlo Stanton hit 37 home runs in 2014 despite missing the last 17 games of the season after being hit in the face by a pitch from Milwaukee Brewers’ Mike Friers in mid-September. Stanton’s orbital bone was broken, he had blood in his sinuses and a number of teeth broken or knocked out. Stanton had had a goal to play in all 162 games this season but the Marlins shut him down for the season leaving him with a season slash line of .288/.355/.555.
The five-year veteran and two-time All-Star may have missed the season’s final 17 games but he still lead the league in on-base percentage(.555) AND homeruns(37). He was so far ahead in home runs in the National League that no one even caught him with two weeks left to play in the regular season.
He had 105 RBI on the year, lead the league with 299 total bases. Already looking recovered from his scary injury, said of receiving the award,
“Just receiving this award is a huge honor for me,”Stanton said. “Hearing the stories and watching the video of Hank play and hearing from my dad the respect that he has for him, it’s unbelievable to be able to represent him in this modern day. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.”
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig also recieved a special award from his friend, Aaron. It was inscribed with the words,
“In honor of your distinguished service to baseball, this honorary Hank Aaron Award is presented to Bud Selig by your friend of more than 50 years, Hank Aaron. Your determination and love and your stewardship brought baseball to unprecedented heights and a legacy as Commissioner that is unmatched.”
The Hank Aaron Award was brought into existance in 1999 in honor of the 25th Anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time career home run record.
A special panel of Hall of Famers was put together to vote on the award (the fans get to have their say as well). The panel included Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas, Robin Yount and of course Hank Aaron.