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Boston's Ortiz captures fourth straight outstanding DH award
12/05/2006 1:03 PM ET
ORLANDO -- David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox has won an unprecedented fourth straight Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award. Ortiz was the overwhelming choice for the 2006 trophy.

Ortiz appeared in 138 games as a designated hitter, batting .282 while leading all qualifiers with 47 home runs and 123 runs batted in. Ortiz also posted a .612 slugging percentage with 317 total bases and 26 doubles as a designated hitter. In addition to a stellar regular season as Boston's DH, Ortiz made his third All-Star Game appearance. He also won his third straight Silver Slugger Award by clobbering 54 home runs, smashing the old mark of 50 set by Jimmie Foxx set in 1938. Big Papi also drove in 137 runs while hitting .287 in 2006.

David Ortiz is the first player in the award's history to have won the honors in four straight seasons. Other consecutive winners include Don Baylor, Harold Baines, Dave Parker and Edgar Martinez for whom the award is named. Previous Red Sox winners include Orlando Cepeda, who won the inaugural award in 1973; Baylor, who won the award in 1986; and Jim Rice, who took home the prize in 1977.

Ortiz secured 60 of the 81 first-place votes cast by club beat writers, broadcasters and American League public relations departments. Nominees included all players with a minimum of 100 at-bats as a designated hitter. Travis Hafner of the Cleveland Indians took second place in the balloting with a .308 regular season batting average, 39 home runs and 110 RBI as a DH. Frank Thomas of the Oakland Athletics finished third after batting .270 with 39 home runs and 114 RBI as a DH.

The Outstanding Designated Hitter Award has been presented annually since 1973. At Safeco Field ceremonies in honor of retiring Mariner Edgar Martinez in September 2004, Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced that the award would be renamed for the five-time ODH recipient (1995, 1997-98, 2000- 01). In an 18-year career with the Seattle Mariners, primarily as a designated hitter, Martinez batted .312, with 309 career home runs and 1,261 runs batted in. Below is a list of the previous winners of the award:

1973 Orlando Cepeda, BOS 1984 Dave Kingman, OAK 1995 Edgar Martinez, SEA
1974 Tommy Davis, BAL 1985 Don Baylor, NYY 1996 Paul Molitor, MIN
1975 Willie Horton, Seattle 1986 Don Baylor, BOS 1997 Edgar Martinez, SEA
1976Hal McRae, KC 1987 Harold Baines, CWS 1998 Edgar Martinez, SEA
1977 Jim Rice, BOS 1988 Harold Baines, CWS 1999 Rafael Palmeiro, TEX
1978 Rusty Staub, DET 1989Dave Parker, OAK 2000 Edgar Martinez, SEA
1979 Willie Horton, SEA 1990 Dave Parker, MIL 2001 Edgar Martinez, SEA
1980 Hal McRae, KC 1991 Chili Davis, MIN 2002 Ellis Burks, CLE
1981 Greg Luzinski, CWS 1992 Dave Winfield, TOR 2003 David Ortiz, BOS
1982 Hal McRae, KC 1993 Paul Molitor, TOR 2004David Ortiz, BOS
1983 Greg Luzinski, CWS 1994 Not awarded 2005 David Ortiz, BOS

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.