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12/04/07 4:25 PM ET

Ortiz wins Edgar Martinez Award

Red Sox masher first DH to win accolade five straight years

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- David Ortiz might not only be the best designated hitter in the game. He might be the best since the inception of the rule in 1973. It was announced Tuesday that Big Papi -- the left-handed masher of the Boston Red Sox -- was the winner of Major League Baseball's Edgar Martinez Award for the fifth straight year.

The award has been presented to the most outstanding designated hitter in the game since 1973, and since 2004, it has been named after Martinez, the former star DH of the Mariners.

Perhaps one day it will be the Big Papi Award.

Ortiz is the first player to win the award five years in a row. Martinez is the only player to win it as many as five times. If Ortiz takes home the award again in 2008, he would be the first to do it six times.

While being a DH is a hard role for many players to get accustomed to, Ortiz has thrived by being a hitter only.

Few sluggers in the game instill more fear when they step into the box than Ortiz. In helping the Red Sox to their second World Series championship in four seasons, Ortiz appeared in 140 games last season as a designated hitter, hitting .338 with 33 homers and 113 RBIs. He also slugged .629 with 329 total bases, 111 runs and 51 doubles as a DH.

The voting for the award is done by team beat writers, broadcasters and American League Public Relations departments.

White Sox slugger Jim Thome finished second, followed by Toronto's Frank Thomas and Travis Hafner of the Indians.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.