The Major League Baseball Players Association announced Friday that Texas Rangers shortstop Michael Young is the winner of the 2008 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award.
The award is presented to "the player in either league whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher levels of achievement." The Rangers will recognize Young’s selection at the club’s Sluggers of the West Awards Dinner on Friday, January 23 in Dallas.
"It's a credit to the guys that I'm surrounded by, not to mention the work that my wife has done," said Young of the honor."I've been blessed with my career. We are at a point where we want to do everything we can to give back. The families and people we get to meet on an everyday basis by being active in the community is something we've gotten a great deal of joy out of."
Young is the first Rangers player to win the award, which is in its 12th year. The Major League Baseball Players Trust will honor Young with a donation of $50,000 to the charities of his choice. The winner is selected by major league players as part of the Players Choice Awards, and is awarded to one individual every season. Players on each of the 30 major league teams nominated one teammate as a candidate for the 2008 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award.
Michael and his wife, Cristina Barbosa-Young, have been actively involved with Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer since the 2002 season. Wipe Out Kids' Cancer is a non-profit organization whose mission is to eradicate pediatric cancer through innovative research, education, and treatment, while providing hope to children affected by cancer.
For the past six seasons, Michael and Cristina have hosted the Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer Ambassadors to a Texas Rangers home game, providing tickets, food, souvenirs, and a private meet and greet, as well pre-game field presentation.
WOKC partners with the Children's Medical Center of Dallas and selects special children to represent WOKC in different fundraising events over the year and the primary purpose of the program is to allow the children a chance to just be kids and forget about their cancer treatments. Meeting Michael and Cristina as well as attending the Rangers game is one of the highlights of the year.
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In 2005, Michael helped furnish the outpatient physical therapy room at Children's Medical Center, providing much needed equipment. In 2006, he began the Young Heroes Scholarship program and has awarded cancer survivors with college scholarship funds and laptop computers on an annual basis.
Cristina and Michael also served as the honorary chairpersons for the WOKC Golf Classic last year and will again chair the event this year, which takes place this coming Thursday at The Tribute Golf Club in The Colony.
In 2006, Michael was selected to receive the "Little Mo" Award by WOKC. Last offseason, Michael and Cristina also undertook a shopping spree with 25 youngsters served by the Hotel Ministry, a
branch of Mission Arlington. The shopping trip aided children who live in day hotels and have no real home, providing them with gifts to open on Christmas morning.
Michael also actively participates in the Major League Players Association Buses for Baseball and Action Team Programs. The Buses for Baseball program brings underprivileged youth to a Rangers game for a pregame meeting with players.
The Action team is actively recruiting the next generation of volunteers. He was also selected as the recipient of the 2003 Harold McKinney Good Guy Award by the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
The 2008 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing more than $3.3 million to charities around the world. ALL-TIME WINNERS OF THE MARVIN MILLER MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
1997 Mark McGwire
1998 Paul Molitor
1999 Sammy Sosa
2000 Eric Davis
2001 Jim Thome
2002 John Smoltz
2003 John Smoltz
2004 Jim Thome
2005 Mike Sweeney
2006 Albert Pujols
2007 Torii Hunter
2008 Michael Young