First-timers top Silver Slugger balloting

First-timers top Silver Slugger balloting

Nine first-time winners -- including eight in the National League -- are among the list of 2005 Louisville Slugger® Silver Slugger Award winners announced Monday by Hillerich & Bradsby, makers of the Louisville Slugger bats who have presented the awards each year since 1980.

The Chicago Cubs topped all NL clubs with two winners, first baseman and NL batting champion Derrek Lee and catcher Michael Barrett. Lee and Barrett are first-time honorees.

The Boston Red Sox placed three players on the team, more than any other organization. The Red Sox winners include first-timer Jason Varitek as well as designated hitter David Ortiz and outfielder Manny Ramirez.

Ramirez won his eighth Silver Slugger Award, tying him with Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for the most of any 2005 winner.

Rodriguez, who won in 1996 and consecutively from 1998-2003, made the team again, joining Yankees right fielder and four-time winner Gary Sheffield.

The Texas Rangers also had two winners, first baseman Mark Teixeira and second baseman Alfonso Soriano.

The two remaining spots on the AL team were filled by Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada and Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero.

For the first time since 1999, Barry Bonds did not win a Silver Slugger AWard. The San Francisco Giants outfielder, injured most of the year, owns a record 12 Silver Sluggers.

The only NL Silver Slugger winner of 2004 to repeat was Los Angeles second baseman Jeff Kent, who won for the fourth time in five years. Kent's former teammate, Morgan Ensberg of Houston, is a first-time winner at third base.

Rounding out the NL squad are Cincinnati shortstop Felipe Lopez, outfielders Andruw Jones of Atlanta, Miguel Cabrera of Florida and Carlos Lee of Milwaukee, and St. Louis pitcher Jason Marquis.

The awards are bestowed by position along league lines, with designated hitter for the American League and pitcher for the National League, to outstanding offensive producers as chosen in balloting by managers and coaches.

2005 Silver Slugger Award winners
American League National League
1B - Mark Teixeira, TEX
2B - Alfonso Soriano, TEX
3B - Alex Rodriguez, NYY
SS - Miguel Tejada, BAL
OF - Vladimir Guerrero, LAA
OF - Manny Ramirez, BOS
OF - Gary Sheffield, NYY
C   - Jason Varitek, BOS
DH - David Ortiz, BOS
1B - Derrek Lee, CHC
2B - Jeff Kent, LAD
3B - Morgan Ensberg, HOU
SS - Felipe Lopez, CIN
OF - Andruw Jones, ATL
OF - Miguel Cabrera, FLA
OF - Carlos Lee, MIL
C   - Michael Barrett, CHC
P   - Jason Marquis, STL
Complete 2005 coverage | All time winners > 
Voters are precluded from voting for players on their own teams. Nominees are selected based on a combination of statistics and evaluations of each player's overall offensive impact.

The Silver Slugger Award trophies will be presented to each player by a representative of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co. in a ceremony early in the 2006 season. The trophy is three feet tall and bears the engraved name of the winner along with his Silver Slugger teammates in his respective league.

The Silver Slugger Award was instituted by the makers of the official MLB bat in 1980 as a natural extension of the Silver Bat Award, which is presented by Louisville Slugger to the batting champions in the AL and NL.

For the second year in a row, the AL batting champion did not win the Silver Slugger balloting at his position. Last year Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki, who batted .372 to cop the batting crown by 32 points despite collecting only 37 extra base hits among his record 262, was left out of the AL outfield.

This year Michael Young of the Rangers, who hit .331 to win the batting crown, was beaten out for the Silver Slugger at his position by Tejada.

Counting the record 12 Silver Slugger "rookies" last year, the 20 first-time winners over the last two seasons represents the largest two-year turnover since the awards began.

Jim Molony is a writer for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.