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Thomas named AL Comeback Player of the Year by MLB Players Association11/08/2006 1:36 PM ET
OAKLAND -- Designated hitter Frank Thomas was named the American League's Comeback Player of the Year by Major League Baseball's Player Association, as the MLBPA announced its 2006 Players Choice Awards today.
The Players Choice Awards winners are selected by all Major League players via secret balloting at ballparks under the supervision of KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm. This year's vote took place on Sept. 12-13.
After injuries limited him to just 34 games in 2005, Thomas returned to form this past season to bat .270 with 39 home runs and 114 RBI in 137 games in his first season in an A's uniform. He finished the season ranked fifth in the American League in home runs and was eighth in RBI and established new club marks for home runs and RBI by a designated hitter. His home run total tied for the third best single season total ever by a designated hitter. The 2006 season marked the ninth time in his career he hit 30 or more home runs and the 11th time he reached the 100-RBI plateau. Since the statistic became official in 1920, only five players in Major League history-Jimmie Foxx (13), Lou Gehrig (13), Barry Bonds (12), Al Simmons (12) and Babe Ruth (12; excluding the 114 RBI in 1919)-have more 100 RBI seasons than Thomas.
Thomas was batting .238 with 19 home runs and 46 RBI in 65 games before the All-Star Break before hitting .298 with 20 home runs and 68 RBI in 72 games after the break. He led the AL in post-break RBI and was third in home runs. He started 79 consecutive games from June 30 though September 26, which marked his longest consecutive games started streak since he started 89 straight games from June 9-Sept. 16, 2000.
This marks Thomas' fourth Players Choice Award, including his second Comeback Player of the Year award, which he also earned following the 2000 season. He also earned the 1993 and '94 American League Outstanding Player Awards. Thomas becomes the ninth A's player to receive a Player's Choice Award and the third Athletic to receive the Comeback Player of the Year award following the selections of Dennis Eckersley (1992) and John Jaha (1999).
Each Players Choice Award winner will designate the charity of his choice to receive a grant from the Players Trust, a not-for-profit foundation created and administered by the players, in an amount ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. Through the Players Trust, Major leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. The Players Trust makes financial and in-kind contributions to charities around the world.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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