Major League Baseball announced today that David Ortiz has been voted the winner of the 2011 Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award.
Ortiz received 73 first-place votes out of 84 ballots cast to garner the honor for the sixth time in his 15-year career (previously accomplished from 2003-07), surpassing Martinez (1995, 1997-98, 2000-01) for the most awards since its 1973 inception. Detroit's Victor Martinez finished second with Kansas City's Billy Butler third.
Ortiz batted .309 (162-for-525) with 40 doubles, 29 home runs, 96 RBI and 84 runs scored in 146 games for the Red Sox last season. Among qualifying designated hitters (minimum 100 at-bats), David finished first in home runs (28), RBI (94), runs scored (82), walks (76), total bases (287) and slugging percentage (.561), was tied for first in doubles, was second in on-base percentage (.403) and was third in base hits (161) and batting average (.314). The Dominican Republic native reached the 25-homer plateau for the eighth time in a Boston uniform, surpassing Jim Rice for second-most in franchise history behind Ted Williams (14 times). Additionally, the 35-year-old joined Albert Pujols and Alfonso Soriano as the only Major Leaguers to launch at least 20 home runs in each season since 2002.
Along with being recognized as the game's top designated hitter, Ortiz earned his fifth-career Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award on Nov. 2, passing Martinez and Paul Molitor for the most ever at the position; he was named the American League Player of the Week for May 30th-June 5th; he was elected by the fans to start in his fifth career All-Star Game (seventh overall) in Phoenix, receiving the fourth-most votes in the Majors; and Ortiz was recognized for his positive contributions on and off the field with the prestigious 2011 Roberto Clemente Award in an on-field ceremony prior to Game 2 of the 2011 World Series in St. Louis.
Now in its 38th season, the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award was renamed by Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig in a September 2004 ceremony at Safeco Field in honor of the retiring Edgar Martinez. Ballots are cast by club beat writers, broadcasters and A.L. public relations departments with nominees including all players with a minimum of 100 at-bats as a designated hitter.