Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media announced that fan voting begins today for the 2012 Hank Aaron Award exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites. For the third straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.
The Hall of Fame panel led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time –Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, and Robin Yount. These Hall of Famers – who combined for 12,119 hits, 888 RBI and 4,984 home runs – have all been personally selected by Hank Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.
Beginning today and continuing through October 16th fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising of one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2012 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2012 World Series.
"Named in honor of one of the greatest hitters and competitors of all-time, the Hank Aaron Awards recognize each League's best all-around offensive performer," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "Hank's career will forever remain a model of excellence and consistency, and I am glad that the 30 Club nominees are following the example of a pillar of our game."
"It is a real privilege to have my name on the award that recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each League," said Hank Aaron. "With so many talented players in the game today, I am thankful to have the assistance of my fellow Hall of Famers and the fans to select the winners."
The finalists for the 2012 Hank Aaron Award are:
Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011), Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).