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Fans help select Man of the Year finalists

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New York, NY, Monday, September 18, 2017  … Thousands of baseball fans participated in a poll on MLBPlayers.com between September 12 and 17 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, David Robertson (New York Yankees) was tabbed to represent the AL East, Eduardo Escobar (Minnesota Twins) the  AL Central, Mike Trout (L.A. Angels) the AL West, Steven Matz (New York Mets) the NL East, Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs) the NL Central and Buster Posey (SF Giants) the NL West.

These six players will have their names placed on the 2017 Players Choice Awards ballot to determine this season's Marvin Miller Man of the Year award winner. 2017 Players Choice Awards ballots will be distributed to all Major League players on Tuesday, September 19, when the accounting firm of KPMG conducts the league-wide, players-only voting.  Winners will be announced in November.

The 2017 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. 2017 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 2017 Players Choice Awards marks the 26th edition of the awards, which began in 1992 with AL & NL Outstanding Players (Dennis Eckersley and Barry Bonds, respectively.)

Curtis Granderson was the recipient of the 2016 Man of the Year Award. Additional past winners of the award, named for the legendary baseball union leader, also include Adam Jones, Clayton Kershaw, Mariano Rivera, Chipper Jones, 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 players below were nominated by their teammates for the 2017 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 – David Peralta; Atlanta Braves – Kurt Suzuki; Baltimore Orioles – Chris Davis; Boston Red Sox – David Price; Chicago Cubs - Anthony Rizzo; Chicago White Sox – Tim Anderson; Cincinnati Reds – Michael Lorenzen; Cleveland Indians – Carlos Carrasco; Colorado Rockies – Mike Dunn; Detroit Tigers – Andrew Romine; Houston Astros – Carlos Beltran; Kansas City Royals – Eric Hosmer; Los Angeles Angels – Mike Trout; Los Angeles Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw; Miami Marlins – Christian Yelich; Milwaukee Brewers – Chase Anderson; Minnesota Twins – Eduardo Escobar; New York Mets – Steven Matz; New York Yankees – David Robertson; Oakland Athletics – Liam Hendriks; Philadelphia Phillies – Cameron Rupp; Pittsburgh Pirates – Josh Harrison ; San Diego Padres – Clayton Richard; San Francisco Giants – Buster Posey; Seattle Mariners – Nelson Cruz; St. Louis Cardinals – Adam Wainwright; Tampa Bay Rays – Evan Longoria; Texas Rangers – Robinson Chirinos; Toronto Blue Jays – J.A. Happ; Washington Nationals – Gio Gonzalez



2017 Players Choice Marvin Miller Man of the Year Divisional Winners


American League East

David Robertson

David and his wife, Erin, created High Socks for Hope in 2011 after a tornado devastated his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala., to help those affected by natural disasters as well as homeless veterans. High Socks has helped thousands of families regroup and furnish homes.  When hurricanes and flooding hit Texas and Florida this summer, the charity again moved to the forefront of relief efforts. The Robertson's also created Rick's Fund in 2016 to honor Erin's father Rick, who lost a heroic battle to pancreatic cancer.

 

American League Central

Eduardo Escobar

Eduardo grew up in the Barrio de la Pica, of the Maracay region in Venezuela and has never forgotten where he came from and his family's struggles to provide basic necessities.  Now Eduardo gives back through his foundation whose efforts include providing water and food to his hometown and surrounding areas and giving sports equipment to the local youth baseball teams.  His giving extends to visiting the local children's hospitals and schools in Minneapolis.


American League West

Mike Trout

Since 2016, Mike has served as an ambassador for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, using his platform as an MLB superstar to educate the community about the value of the organization's one-to-one mentoring programs. His role is to enhance recruitment efforts through social media advocacy, marketing and fundraising. Mike has also made monetary and equipment donations to his hometown Millville Thunderbolt Club, which supports Millville (NJ) High School athletic programs.


National League East

Steven Matz


The mission of Steven's TRU32 program is to say “thank you” to NYPD, FDNY, military, and other first responders.  At each TRU32 Mets' game, 32 first responders and guests meet Steven and attend the game free of charge.  The TRU32 program also funds scholarships for children of first responders whose parents have lost their lives in the line of duty.  Also, Steven raises funds for Angela's House in Long Island, a charity that assists families caring for children with special healthcare needs.

National League Central

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony's mission this year was to use his on-field success as a springboard for the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, which he founded in 2012 to provide funding for cancer research. This year, it has raised millions of dollars for endowments at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami. It has also donated to the Family Reach Foundation, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and supported oncology summer camp programs.

 

National League West

Buster Posey

Buster's philanthropic focus is The Buster and Kristen Posey Fund. The fund provides grants to research hospitals and charitable organizations that support children diagnosed with pediatric cancer. Buster and his wife started the fund in 2016 and efforts include working with the V Foundation and introducing the Buster Posey Pediatric Cancer Awareness 9FORTY cap, and proceeds from the sale support pediatric research and treatment.