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Bonds gets top award

Oct. 23, 2001 at 1:40 PM   |   Comments

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- After his tremendous offensive season, San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds was the obvious choice of his peers as The Sporting News' Player of the Year.

Bonds broke Mark McGwire's 1998 home run record of 70 by hitting 73, and had the highest slugging percentage (.863) and most walks (177) in a single season. Both records had been held by Babe Ruth.

In voting by major league players, Bonds received 133 votes to finish ahead of runnerup Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs with 57 votes and Luis Gonzalez of the Arizona Diamondbacks with 48.

"It's a tremendous award, and it's very much appreciated because all the players voted for it. I'm honored," Bonds said.

Previously named as the Player of the Decade for the 1990s by The Sporting News, Bonds also hit his 500th career homer and moved into seventh place on the all-time list with 567 this season.

It is the second time that Bonds has won the honor, having first captured the award in 1990 while with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He joins Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Joe Morgan and Cal Ripken Jr. as the only players to capture the award twice.

The Managers of the Year, selected by each league's managers, were Lou Piniella of the Seattle Mariners and Larry Bowa of the Philadelphia Phillies, each winning for the first time.

Piniella guided the Mariners to a major league record-tying 116 wins, matching the 1906 Cubs. After the departure of Alex Rodriguez, the third superstar the Mariners have lost since 1998, Piniella coaxed contributions from every player on the roster.

"We've had a good year here, and our organization shares in this award," Piniella said.

With eight votes, Piniella finished ahead of Art Howe of the Oakland Athletics, who received 3 1/2 votes, and Tom Kelly of Minnesota, Jimy Williams, who was fired late in the season by Boston, and Charlie Manuel of Cleveland.

Bowa's abrasive style did not make him popular with the players, but he transformed a team which lost 97 games in 2000 to an 86-76 club this past season.

"A manager is only as good as his players, and I owe this to all their hard work," Bowa said.

In the vote by National League managers, Bowa finished one vote ahead of Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Jim Tracy. Don Baylor of the Chicago Cubs was third in the voting.

The Pitchers of the Year were Roger Clemens of the New York Yankees and Curt Schilling of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Rookies of the Year were Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners and Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Rookie Pitchers of the Year were C.C. Sabathia of Cleveland and Roy Oswalt of the Houston Astros.

The Comeback Players were Ruben Sierra of the Texas Rangers and Matt Morris of the Cardinals.

The Executive of the Year will be announced at the winter meetings in December.

--

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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