Berkman, Ellsbury earn comeback honours
By SPORTS NETWORK
|Jacoby Ellsbury (pictured), along with Lance Berkman, both earned MLB's Comeback Player of the Year awards. (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)
NEW YORK -- Outfielders Lance Berkman of the St. Louis Cardinals and Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox are the recipients of the 2011 Comeback Player of the Year awards.
Berkman struggled in 2010 with Houston and the New York Yankees, batting a mere .248 with 14 homers and 58 runs batted in, then flourished in his first season with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The 35-year-old veteran batted .301 with 31 homers and 94 runs batted in this season. He tied for ninth in the National League in homers and tied for 11th in RBI, helping the Cardinals to the NL wild card berth.
Berkman was selected for his sixth career All-Star Game this past July and the 145 games he played were his most since appearing in 159 during the 2008 season.
Ellsbury played just 18 games in 2010 because of injuries, but is an MVP candidate this season after hitting .321 with 32 homers and 105 runs batted in. He added 119 runs scored with 39 stolen bases and led the majors with 364 total bases and 83 extra-base hits.
An All-Star for the first time this season, the Oregon native became the first Red Sox player with a 30-homer, 30-stolen base season. He finished third in the American League with 212 hits and was fifth in batting.
Ellsbury also became the fourth big league player to reach 200 hits, 100 RBI, 35 stolen bases and 30 home runs in a single season, joining Vladimir Guerrero (2002), Alfonso Soriano (2002) and Alex Rodriguez (1998).
The 30 club beat reporters from MLB.com selected the award winners.
Last year's winners were Atlanta pitcher Tim Hudson and Minnesota pitcher Francisco Liriano.