Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media announced that Jose Reyes was named the Mets nominee for the 2011 Hank Aaron Award.
Fan voting begins today exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites. For the second straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.
Reyes, 28, became the first Mets player to win a batting title, finishing the year with a NL-best .337 average (181-537). He also tied for the major league lead in triples (16) and the NL lead with 57 multi-hit games. For the season, Reyes appeared in 126 games and finished with 101 runs, 31 doubles, seven home runs, 44 RBI and 39 stolen bases. This season marked his fourth with triple-digit runs, extending his franchise record.
“It’s an honor to be nominated for the Hank Aaron Award,” Reyes said. “He is an all-time great who all the players look up to no matter where you grew up. He was, and continues to be, a true gentleman of the game and I think everyone should try to be like him on and off the field.”
This year, the Hall of Fame panel will include two new members – personally selected by Hank Aaron – Roberto Alomar and Joe Morgan. They join panelists from last year, which included Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams and Robin Yount, forming a group comprised of some of the greatest offensive players of all-time. These Hall of Famers – who combined for 23,536 hits, 11,445 RBI and exactly 2,800 home runs – have all agreed to join Hank Aaron in lending their expertise to select the best offensive performers in each League.
Beginning today and continuing through Sunday, October 9, fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2011 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2011 World Series.
The complete list of finalists for the 2011 Hank Aaron Award are:
Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
LA Angels of Anaheim
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Yankees
New York Mets
Tampa Bay Rays
St. Louis Cardinals
Toronto Blue Jays
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Jose Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).
The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.