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Press Release

09/11/2006 4:00 PM ET
Nomar Garciaparra, Mike Mussina, Albert Pujols, John Smoltz, Jim Thome and Barry Zito selected by fans as final nominees for Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award
These six placed on 2006 Players Choice Awards ballots for league-wide player voting Sept. 12 & 13

NEW YORK -- Thousands of baseball fans participated in an Internet poll on between September 5 and 10, 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, Mike Mussina (NY Yankees) was tabbed to represent the AL East, Jim Thome (Chicago White Sox) the AL Central, Barry Zito (Oakland A’s) the AL West, John Smoltz (Atlanta Braves) the NL East, Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals) the NL Central and Nomar Garciaparra (Los Angeles Dodgers) the NL West.

These six players will have their names placed on the 2006 Players Choice Awards ballots to determine this season’s Marvin Miller Man of the Year. Ballots will be distributed to all Major League players on Tuesday, September 12 and Wednesday, September 13, when the accounting firm of KPMG conducts the league-wide, players-only voting for the 2006 Players Choice Awards. Also on those days, all Major League players will be voting for their league’s outstanding rookie, pitcher, player, and comeback player as well as the overall Outstanding Player of the Year.

Each Players Choice Award winner will designate the charity of his choice to receive a grant from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Winners will be announced following the season.

Mike Sweeney of the Kansas City Royals was the recipient of the 2005 Man of the Year Award for his on-field leadership and commitment to the Kansas City community. As well as being a spokesman for the “Enjoy the Game” program, Mike worked closely with the local Boys & Girls Club, the Children’s Mercy Hospital, and the Sweeney Family Foundation. Past winners of the award, named for the legendary baseball union leader, also include Thome, Smoltz, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Eric Davis and Paul Molitor.