Prodigious Pujols takes Player of Year
First baseman led all of baseball in slugging, OPS
Players selected Albert Pujols as baseball's Player of the Year in the 2008 Players Choice Awards balloting. It was Pujols' sixth Players Choice Award, second only to Alex Rodriguez's eight since the players began voting among themselves in 1992.
Pujols, a model of performance, consistency and durability during his first eight Major League seasons, also won both the NL's Outstanding Player and overall Player of the Year in 2003. He also was the NL's Outstanding Rookie in 2001 and the Marvin Miller Man of the Year in 2006.
"I just want to thank my peers for this award," Pujols told Yahoo! Sports. "There's so much talent in the National League and American League. Being voted this award by players means a lot to me."
This season, the seven-time All-Star put aside a nagging elbow injury to bat .357 with 37 home runs, 116 RBIs and 100 runs scored in 148 games. His .653 slugging average and 1.114 OPS were the best in the Major Leagues while he trailed only Chipper Jones in batting and on-base averages.
It was the eighth consecutive season in which Pujols has reached both the 30-home run and 100-RBI plateaus.
"I had to make some adjustments early and late in the season because I was getting tired -- my elbow was getting fatigued," Pujols said. "Obviously the adjustments I decided to make helped me toward the end of the season."
The Players Choice Awards are selected by the players themselves in balloting conducted in September under the supervision of the accounting firm KPMG. The 2008 Players Choice Awards were presented by Playstation® with additional support from The Topps Company and The Upper Deck Company. Players are invariably gratified to be honored by their peers.
Earlier this week, Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum were named Players Choice Awards recipients as their leagues' Outstanding Pitchers, Josh Hamilton and Pujols were named their leagues' Outstanding Players, Evan Longoria and Geovany Soto were named their leagues' Outstanding Rookies, and Lee and Fernando Tatis were named their leagues' Outstanding Comeback players.
Each 2008 Players Choice Award winner recommends the charity of his choice to receive a grant from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has contributed more than $3.25 million dollars to charities around the world in honor of Players Choice Award winners.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.