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Sports News

Rodriguez, Fielder win Hank Aaron awards

DENVER (Reuters) - Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and the Milwaukee Brewers’ Prince Fielder have been selected by fans as winners of the Hank Aaron Award, which honors the top offensive players in the National and American leagues.

Baseball great Hank Aaron (bottom L) and Major League Baseball's commissioner Bud Selig (top L) present Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers with the "Hank Aaron Award" before Game 4 of Major League Baseball's World Series in Denver, October 28, 2007. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Nearly 400,000 votes were cast at MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, and Commissioner Bud Selig announced the winners on Sunday.

Rodriguez, who won the award each year from 2001-2003, was honored for a fourth time. It was the first Aaron Award for Fielder.

One nominee was put forward from each Major League team.

“Hank had an enormous impact on the game during his playing career, and he continues to serve our national pastime as a tremendous ambassador,” Selig said in presenting the awards.

“This award, created to honor Hank, recognizes two players who have had fantastic offensive seasons, and I can’t think of two more deserving than Alex and Prince.”

Third baseman Rodriguez, who received 24 percent of all AL fan votes during the final phase, led the major leagues with 54 home runs, 156 runs batted in, 143 runs scored and a .645 slugging percentage.

Fielder received 16 percent of the NL fan votes. The first baseman led the National League with 50 home runs and drove in 119 runs for the Brewers.

Rodriguez was absent from the ceremony held before Sunday’s Game Four of the World Series, but Aaron had special praise for Fielder.

“I’d like to thank Prince Fielder and congratulate him on his outstanding year for winning this award,” Aaron said.

“And I want to thank him again for playing in a city which I hold very dear to my heart, and that’s Milwaukee,” added the Hall of Fame slugger, who played most of his career with the Milwaukee Braves.

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