Players Choice Awards balloting at ballparks across the country
Active players voted in 2015 Players Choice Awards balloting at ballparks in both leagues on Wednesday.
There are two awards that span both leagues: Player of the Year and the Marvin Miller Man of the Year, which goes to the player whose on-field performance and contributions to his community most inspire others.
Representatives from the accounting firm KPMG were at each clubhouse to conduct the balloting. Players were also asked to vote for the outstanding player, pitcher, comeback player and rookie in their leagues.
The seven Marvin Miller Man of the Year finalists selected in online fan balloting are: Adam Jones (AL East), Miguel Cabrera (AL Central), David Robertson (AL Central), Robinson Cano (AL West), Dee Gordon (NL East), Skip Schumaker (NL Central) and Justin Turner (NL West). There is an extra finalist this year due to a tie in fan balloting for the AL Central.
Players will also vote for the first "Always Game" award winner, presented by Majestic. "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 - were Jose Altuve (AL West), Kris Bryant (NL Central), Josh Donaldson (AL East), Alex Gordon (AL Central), Dee Gordon (NL East) and Zack Grienke (NL West.)
Each winner will receive a grant from the Players Trust that he can direct to a deserving charity or charities. Additionally, for the first time, each of the 30 player-nominated Marvin Miller Man of the Year award candidates will receive a Trust grant.
In 2014 balloting Clayton Kershaw became the first player to ever win three Players Choice Awards in a single year, as he was recognized by his fellow players as the NL's Outstanding Pitcher and the overall Player of the Year as well as the Marvin Miller Man of the Year.
Past winners of the Marvin Miller Man of the Year, named for the legendary MLBPA union leader, also include Mariano Rivera, Chipper Jones, Michael Young, Brandon Inge, Curtis Granderson, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Jim Thome, John Smoltz, Mike Sweeney, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Eric Davis and Paul Molitor.
The 2015 Players Choice Awards marks the 24th anniversary of the awards, which began in 1992 with AL and NL Outstanding Players (Dennis Eckersley and Barry Bonds.)
The 2015 Players Choice Awards winners will receive grants totaling $335,000 from the Players Trust to distribute to charities of their choosing, including, for the first time, $2,500 to all 30 Marvin Miller Award nominees.
Since the first Players Choice Awards presentations in 1992, the Players Trust has contributed more than $4 million to charities around the world through grants to the award recipients.