Rodriguez wins AL Legacy Award
Third baseman gets Oscar Charleston Award for leadership
NEW YORK -- In what figures to be an offseason filled with individual awards and acknowledgements, Alex Rodriguez is off to an early start.
A-Rod has been selected as the American League recipient of the Oscar Charleston Legacy Award as the Most Valuable Player in leading his club to the postseason.
The Legacy Award, sponsored by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, honors the game's best players in various categories with bronzed statues that carry the likeness and names of stars from "black baseball."
Rodriguez batted .314 while leading the Major Leagues with 143 runs, 54 home runs and 156 RBIs in 2007, helping the Yankees secure the American League Wild Card before falling in a four-game AL Division Series to the Cleveland Indians.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920, only three other players have held the outright Major League lead in runs, home runs and RBIs -- Babe Ruth (1920, 1921, 1926), Ted Williams (1942) and Mickey Mantle (1956).
Reflecting recently on his campaign, Rodriguez said the most rewarding part of the experience -- more so than individual accomplishments -- were the relationships that he was able to cultivate.
"It's been a fun year from that perspective, because I've built a lot of strong relationships in our clubhouse," Rodriguez said. "From coaches to the manager, to the young players that we have here, they've brought an amazing energy."
Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins was the National League award winner. This marks the second straight year that a Yankee has brought home the AL honors; Derek Jeter was selected by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum after the 2006 season.
The award is named for Charleston, a legendary center fielder, who was one of the first Negro League players to earn induction into Cooperstown, a member of the 1976 induction class.
A-Rod will also be honored with the Josh Gibson Award as the respective home run leader of his league; Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers, coming off a 50-homer campaign, will receive the National League award.
Recipients are scheduled be honored in a Jan. 12 ceremony in Kansas City.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.