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10/11/2007 11:48 AM ET
Jonathan Papelbon wins "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award"
Fans select Red Sox closer as the most outstanding relief pitcher in 2007
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Jonathan Papelbon of the Boston Red Sox has been named the recipient of the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award", it was announced today. The Delivery Man of the Year Award is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and recognizes the most outstanding relief pitcher of the season as voted on by the fans. From Sept. 25 through Oct. 8, Major League Baseball fans cast nearly 125,000 votes for the award on MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball.

In recognition of this honor, DHL will donate $10,000 to the Boston Area Church League, in Papelbon's name. This donation will be made in conjunction with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF), a joint initiative of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. With this donation, the Boston Area Church League, in partnership with the Ramsey Park Advisory Committee and the City of Boston Parks & Recreation Department, will be able to refurbish a local youth baseball field, Jim Rice Field. DHL, BTF and other community volunteers will also take part in the renovation, which is scheduled to take place in spring 2008. In addition, Major League Baseball will be placing a special advertisement in an edition of USA Today next week recognizing Papelbon as the 2007 "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award" recipient.

Papelbon, who garnered 39,043 votes, helped the Red Sox win their first AL East Division title since 1995 by recording 37 saves. The two-time All-Star finished the year with a 1.85 ERA, striking out 84 batters over 58.1 innings pitched while surrendering 30 hits. He finished tied for sixth in the American League in saves and ranked eighth with 53 games finished. His save total ranks fifth all-time for a single season in Club history. Papelbon will be honored prior to Game One of the American League Championship Series on Friday night.

The right-hander is the first Red Sox pitcher ever with 30+ saves in two different seasons, and is the second pitcher in Major League history with 35+ saves in each of his first two full seasons. The closer recorded at least one strikeout in 47 of 59 appearances while averaging 12.96 strikeouts per nine innings, the best ratio among all Major League relievers. He limited the opposition to a .146 batting average, lowest among all Major League relievers. Since making his Major League debut in 2005, Papelbon already ranks sixth on the Red Sox all-time saves list with 72.

To create the ballot, an initial list of 15 top relievers was compiled by the editorial board of MLB.com. The 10 finalists were chosen from this list of nominees by a special Major League Baseball "yellow-ribbon" panel that consists of Mike Bauman, national columnist for MLB.com; Rich "Goose" Gossage, nine-time All-Star pitcher; Darryl Hamilton, former Major League outfielder and a member of the MLB On-Field Operations staff; Jerome Holtzman, the official MLB Historian and a member of the writer's wing of the Hall of Fame; and Bob Watson, Vice President, On-Field Operations, Major League Baseball.

Throughout the 2007 season, this same "yellow-ribbon" panel also selected the relief pitcher who gave each month's most dominant performance for his respective Major League Baseball Club. The 2007 winners of the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award" include Francisco Cordero (April), Trevor Hoffman (May), J.J. Putz (June), Billy Wagner (July), Takashi Saito (August) and Manny Corpas (September).

This is the third year that DHL has sponsored the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award." Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees has won back-to-back Awards.

To engage fans in the selection process, DHL introduced an online sweepstakes in conjunction with the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award" voting. The sweepstakes grand prize will award one lucky fan with a trip for two to Game Four of the 2007 World Series compliments of DHL.

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