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Giambi, Griffey Jr. win 2005 Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award presented by Viagra (sildenafil citrate)10/06/2005 1:50 PM ET
Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees and Ken Griffey Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds have been named the inaugural recipients of the 2005 Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award presented by Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) as the result of fan balloting on MLB.com, it was announced today. Throughout the voting process, Major League Baseball fans cast nearly 400,000 votes for the award.
This season, Giambi, who received 100,037 votes, won by a decisive margin and re-emerged as a star on the baseball field this year after a 2004 injury-riddled campaign. For the season, the Yankees' left-handed slugger hit 32 home runs and had 87 RBI while leading the American League with 108 walks. Additionally, his .440 on-base percentage was the highest in the American League and second overall in the Majors.
Giambi began his surge towards claiming the Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award presented by Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) in July by hitting a Major League Baseball best 14 home runs while also raising his batting average 33 points over the course of the month. The five-time All-Star also recorded another milestone in July by hitting his 300th career home run.
Griffey Jr., who garnered 101,264 votes, also led wire to wire in the voting to win the award, re-establishing himself as one of the game's elites by hitting 35 home runs which was his highest total since the 2000 campaign when he slugged 40 home runs. The Reds' outfielder capped a tremendous comeback season by compiling a .301 batting average with 92 RBI and 30 doubles. The 12-time All-Star finished eighth in the Major Leagues with a .576 slugging percentage. Griffey's 35 home runs in only 128 games placed him seventh overall in the National League while his 536 career home runs ties him with Mickey Mantle for 12th on the all-time home run list.
This is the first comeback player of the year award officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball, which will be presented annually to one player in each League. The award will recognize the players who have re-emerged on the baseball field during a given season. Representatives of Major League Baseball and the editorial staff at MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball selected the 12 nominees - six players from each League - for the "Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award Presented by Viagra® (sildenafil citrate)."
To further engage fans in the selection process, Pfizer, maker of Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) introduced an online sweepstakes in conjunction with the "Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award Presented by Viagra® (sildenafil citrate)." As part of the program, one lucky sweepstakes winner will have the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to a 2005 World Series® game.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.