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Marvin Miller Award is players' highest honor

   11-07-2017
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There is no higher honor you can receive from your fellow players than being selected as their Marvin Miller Man of the Year.

The prestigious award, named for the founding executive director of the modern Major League Baseball Players Association, is given to the player who most inspires those in the fraternity of baseball players through his contributions on the field and in the community. It is symbolic of players' utmost respect.

It is one of two awards, along with Player of the Year, for which players in both leagues cast ballots in their annual Players Choice Awards voting. Winners in recent years have included Curtis Granderson (2016), Adam Jones (2015), Clayton Kershaw (2014) and Mariano Rivera (2013).

This year's three finalists – Buster Posey, Anthony Rizzo and David Robertson -- are all highly respected stars in their leagues, but also take active leadership roles on the field, in their clubhouses and in the communities where they live and perform.

The winner of the Marvin Miller Award will be announced during MLB Network's telecast of the 2017 Players Choice Awards on Wednesday (Nov. 8) from 8 - 9:30 pm ET. 

A five-time all-star with a .308 career batting average over nine seasons, Posey batted .320 with a .400 on-base average over 140 games, including 99 behind the plate, for the Giants in 2017.

While he engenders the respect of teammates and opponents on the field with his stoic, take-charge style, Posey projects warmth in the community through The Buster and Kristen Posey Fund, which they launched in 2016 to provide grants to research hospitals and charitable organizations that support children diagnosed with pediatric cancer.

Posey's recent efforts have included the formation of a partnership with the V Foundation and fundraising to support pediatric research and treatment through proceeds from sales of Buster Posey Pediatric Cancer Awareness 9FORTY caps.

Rizzo, who hit 32 homers and drove in 109 runs for the second straight season, made it his mission this year to use his on-field success as a springboard for the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, which the Hodgkin lymphoma survivor founded in 2012 to provide funding for pediatric cancer research as well as support for the families of children fighting cancer.

In 2017 alone, the friendly first baseman's foundation committed more than $4 million to establish the Hope 44 program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, where he regularly visits the infusion center to lift children's spirits while they are being administered chemotherapy.

Rizzo's foundation has also raised millions of dollars for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami and has donated to the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., the Family Reach Foundation and Gilda's Club Chicago.

Robertson, 30, went 9-2 this season with a 2.84 ERA and 98 strikeouts over 68 1/3 innings split between the White Sox and the Yankees, where he began his MLB career in 2008 before being traded to the White Sox and spending two and a half seasons in Chicago. He excelled in the postseason as the Yankees go-to reliever in high-pressure, high-leverage situations.

And it may have been the busiest year ever for High Socks for Hope, the foundation Robertson and his wife, Erin, launched in 2011 after a tornado devastated his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala. High Socks' primary mission is to help victims of natural disasters and homeless veterans rebuild their homes and their lives.

When hurricanes and flooding devastated parts of Texas and Florida this summer, the charity mobilized swiftly and effectively, sending truckloads of needed supplies to affected areas.

Just last month following the tragic death of former White Sox reliever Daniel Webb in an ATV accident, it was the Robertsons who led a fundraising drive to support the 28-year-old's family.

The Players Choice Awards benefit the Major League Baseball Players Trust, the collective charity created and administered by the players themselves. Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 .

The player selected as Marvin Miller Man of the Year will receive a $50,000 grant for the charity of his choice.

Now in its 26th year, the Players Choice Awards annually honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher and comeback player in each league, as well as an overall Player of the Year and Marvin Miller Man of the Year awards, which are selected by players in both leagues.

Balloting for the 2017 Players Choice Awards, which are being presented by MLB The Show and sponsored by Majestic Athletic, was conducted in all Major League clubhouses on Sept. 19, under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.

The Players Trust raises funds and attention for issues affecting the needy and promotes community involvement, and it has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing more than $4.7 million to charities around the world. For additional information, please visit www.PlayersTrust.org