Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera and Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt were named the recipients of the Hank Aaron Award before Game 4 of the World Series, Major League Baseball announced.
MLB established the award in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record. The award is given to the most outstanding offensive performer in each league.
Cabrera and Goldschmidt were both deserving recipients of the 2013 award. Cabrera, winning the award for a second straight season, followed up his Triple Crown campaign with an arguably more impressive offensive season, batting .348/.442/.636 with 44 home runs and 137 RBI. Goldschmidt showed substantial improvement in his second full major-league season, batting .302/.401/.551 with 36 home runs and 125 RBI.
Both players discussed the award with reporters. Cabrera attended the conference in person, telling Mark Newman of MLB.com:
"It is a great honor. I don't expect to win any hardware. I expect to win games, and I hope always to go out there and win championships. We came up short this year, but I think we had a great team. I think this hardware is for my whole team, because without my team, I am not able to put numbers in the field, or to win games on the field. Thank you very much to the Detroit Tigers, my teammates, and the great organization I play with."
Goldschmidt is currently in Australia promoting the 2014 Opening Series that will take place in Sydney between the Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He provided a video acceptance speech, stating:
"It's just a very big honor just to be mentioned alongside Hank Aaron and other great players in the game. And I've just got to say thank you to friends and family, and the Diamondbacks organization for giving me the opportunity to play baseball, and of course the coaching staff and front office here. But probably most of all, the teammates here I've had with the Diamondbacks this year. (I) just really enjoyed this year, getting to play with them, and learned a lot from the guys I played with, the guys I played with in the past."
Fans voted for the award on MLB.com, and were joined in the voting by a panel of Hall of Famers, including Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Robin Yount and Aaron.
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