9/17/2012 2:17 PM ET
Adam Jones, Chipper Jones, Paul Konerko, Skip Schumaker, Michael Young & Barry Zito selected by fans as finalists for 2012 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award
Six finalists placed on 2012 Players Choice Awards ballots for league-wide player voting
NEW YORK -- Thousands of baseball fans participated in an Internet poll on www.MLBPLAYERS.com from Sept. 11-16 to determine which six players, one from each division, inspire others to higher levels of achievement by their on-field performances and contributions to their communities. From this list of 30 players, Adam Jones (Orioles) was tabbed to represent the American League East, Paul Konerko (White Sox) the AL Central, Michael Young (Rangers) the AL West, Chipper Jones (Braves) the National League East, Skip Schumaker (Cardinals) the NL Central and Barry Zito (Giants) the NL West.
These six players will have their names placed on the 2012 Players Choice Awards ballot to determine this season's Marvin Miller Man of the Year award winner. The 2012 Players Choice Awards marks the 21st anniversary of the awards, which began in 1992 with AL and NL Outstanding Players (Dennis Eckersley and Barry Bonds, respectively). [Note: View complete history of the Awards]
The 2012 Players Choice Awards also honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher and comeback player in each league, as well as the overall Player of the Year. The 2012 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. The Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing more than $3 million to charities around the world.
2012 ballots will be distributed to all Major League players on Wednesday, Sept. 19, when the accounting firm of KPMG conducts the league-wide, players-only voting.
Young was the recipient of the 2011 Man of the Year Award. Past winners of the award, named for the legendary baseball union leader, also include Curtis Granderson, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Mike Sweeney, Jim Thome, John Smoltz, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Eric Davis and Paul Molitor.
2012 Players Choice Marvin Miller Man of the Year divisional winners:
American League East
Adam Jones: Adam Jones has stepped up to the plate to become a leader in his community. In 2010, Jones teamed with Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign to support the fight against childhood obesity. A vocal supporter of Major League Baseball's R.B.I. (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program, Jones also volunteers his time to Boys and Girls Clubs and the YMCA of Central Maryland. He has recently partnered with Baltimore Animal and Rescue Care Shelter (BARCS) to bring awareness to animal cruelty and has joined with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Share Our Strength and the Baltimore Partnership to End Childhood Hunger to promote summer reading and raise awareness of free, healthy meals.
American League Central
Paul Konerko: Off the field, Paul Konerko has been as steady and unfailing in the community as he has been on the field. He and wife Jennifer have continually supported foster families in the state of Illinois and launched the Bring Me Home Campaign through Children's Home and Aid. In its first five years, the Bring Me Home Campaign has raised more than $332,000 to benefit foster children. The six-time All-Star also has served as the team ambassador for the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and is an active participant in numerous activities on behalf of Chicago White Sox Charities.
American League West
Michael Young: Winner of the 2008 & 2011 Marvin Miller Man of the Year awards, Michael Young is a role model for outstanding character and charitable work. Last year, Young and wife Cristina launched The Michael Young Family Foundation to improve children's social, educational, physical and mental health. Through the foundation, they hosted the inaugural Michael Young Celebrity BaseBOWL Tournament to benefit Wipe Out Kids' Cancer (WOKC). In coalition with the WOKC Ambassador Program, Young invites young cancer patients to Rangers games and has provided college scholarships to 66 local cancer survivors and Hispanic students through his Young Heroes Scholarship Program.
National League East
Chipper Jones: Touched early in his career by the experience of a young boy with cystic fibrosis, Chipper Jones has long been a supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Jones serves as the chair of the Georgia chapter's 65 Roses Sports Committee and the Bridges to a Cure campaign, hosts children with cystic fibrosis at Turner Field, and frequently visits local hospitals. In addition, the Chipper Jones Family Foundation supports the Boys & Girls Club, the Florida and Georgia Sheriff's Youth Ranches and Homes and local Little League programs. Since its 2001 inception, the Chipper Jones Celebrity Golf Invitational has raised more than $1 million to benefit these organizations.
National League Central
Skip Schumaker: Inspired by a close friend's struggle with an ill infant daughter, Skip Schumaker is encouraging teammates and other local professional athletes to become more active in the St. Louis community. This summer, Schumaker organized the Stars 4 Baby Reesa charity event to raise money for a childhood friend and his wife whose daughter was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy, a rare genetic disorder with no cure that is generally fatal before 2 years old. Schumaker recruited Cardinals, Rams and Blues players to partake in the autograph signing and silent auction. Schumaker also stays active with Cardinals Care programs like the Redbird Rookies Readers.
National League West
Barry Zito: Barry has long been looked up to by his fellow Major Leaguers for his on-field and off-field endeavors. A former Cy Young Award winner, Zito created the charity Strikeouts for Troops to give back to our military heroes while providing the 'comforts of home' and to lift the spirits of injured troops and their families in their greatest time of need. His charitable work has been recognized by people in and out of the game of baseball for quite some time, and in 2006 he was named Baseball's No. 1 "Good Guy" by The Sporting News. He also lends his support to causes such as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Special Olympics and Make-a-Wish Foundation.
The following players were nominated by their teammates for the 2012 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award:
Arizona: Brad Ziegler; Atlanta: Chipper Jones; Baltimore: Adam Jones; Boston: Jarrod Saltalamachhia; Chicago Cubs: David DeJesus; Chicago White Sox: Paul Konerko; Cincinnati: Jay Bruce; Cleveland: Vinnie Pestano; Colorado: Michael Cuddyer; Detroit: Miguel Cabrera; Houston: Jose Altuve; Kansas City: Billy Butler; Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: C.J. Wilson; Los Angeles Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw; Miami: Josh Johnson; Milwaukee: Corey Hart; Minnesota: Justin Morneau; New York Mets: R.A. Dickey; New York Yankees: Mark Teixeira; Oakland: Jonny Gomes; Philadelphia: Cole Hamels; Pittsburgh: Andrew McCutchen; San Diego: Clayton Richard; San Francisco: Barry Zito; Seattle: Felix Hernandez; St. Louis: Skip Schumaker; Tampa Bay: David Price; Texas: Michael Young; Toronto: Ricky Romero; Washington: Ryan Zimmerman.