10/27/2008 11:10 AM ET
Brad Lidge wins DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award
Fans select Phillies closer as the most outstanding relief pitcher in 2008
Brad Lidge of the Philadelphia Phillies 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 September 25th through October 10th, Major League Baseball fans cast more than 100,000 votes for the award on MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball.
In recognition of this honor, DHL will donate $10,000 to benefit the Phillies RBI/Rookie League program, in Lidge'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. In addition, Major League Baseball will be placing a special advertisement today in USA Today recognizing Lidge as the 2008 "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award" recipient.
Lidge helped the Phillies capture their second straight National League East title by converting all 41 of his save opportunities in 2008. In his first year with his new Club, the two-time N.L. All-Star right-hander posted a 2-0 record with a 1.95 ERA in 72 games, striking out 92 batters in 69.1 innings pitched and surrendered just 50 hits, 35 walks and two home runs. The University of Notre Dame product averaged 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings, second best among all N.L. relievers. Lidge put up a 1.10 ERA (41.0 IP, 5 ER) in save situations in 2008, limiting opponents to a .171 batting average. He joined Eric Gagne (2003, 55 saves) and Trevor Hoffman (1998, 33 saves) as the only N.L. relievers since 1975 to convert his first 30 saves in a season. During the 2008 regular season, Philadelphia went 79-0 when
leading after eight innings and its bullpen as a whole assembled the best ERA (3.22) in the N.L. and ranked second in the N.L. with 33 wins and 47 saves. Thus far, Lidge has saved six games this postseason for the Phillies, who are competing in the World Series for the first time since 1993. In his 8.1 innings of work, he has fanned 12 batters with a 1.08 ERA and surrendered just five hits. Lidge will be honored prior to Game Five of the World Series on Monday night.
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. From September 25th through October 10th, fans were able to vote online from among 10 relievers to determine the Award winner.
Throughout the 2008 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 2008 winners of the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award" include Mariano Rivera (April), B.J. Ryan (May), Francisco Rodriguez (June), Joe Nathan (July), Jose Valverde (August) and Joakim Soria (September).
This is the fourth year that DHL has sponsored the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award." Past winners of the Award include: Mariano Rivera (2005, 2006) and Jonathan Papelbon (2007).
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 awarded one lucky fan with a trip for two to Game Four of the 2008 World Series compliments of DHL.