Brett Gardner named Yankees' nominee for 2014 Hank Aaron Award

Fans Can Vote Through October 5th at MLB.com; Award Recognizes Most Outstanding Offensive Performers in Each League

Hall of Fame Panel Led by Hank Aaron Includes Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas and Robin Yount

Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media announced that outfielder Brett Gardner was named the New York Yankees' nominee for the 2014 Hank Aaron Award.

Fans can vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites. For the fifth 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.

In 148 games, Gardner hit .256 (142-for-555) with 87 runs, 25 doubles, eight triples, 17 home runs and 58 RBI, surpassing his previous career bests in both homers (eight in 2013) and runs batted in (52 in 2013). Each of his 17 home runs was hit out of the leadoff spot, tied for the highest such total in the American League. Gardner was 21-for-26 in stolen base attempts, marking his fifth season with at least 20 steals. He was named the AL "Player of the Week" on August 4, batting .478 (11-for-23) with eight runs, three doubles, five home runs and seven RBI in six games from July 28-August 3.

The Hall of Fame panel led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time -Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas and Robin Yount. These Hall of Famers - who combined for 16,956 hits, 8,844 RBI and 2,109 home runs - have all been personally selected by Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.

Through October 5, 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 2014 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2014 World Series.

"I am honored to have my name on the award given by Major League Baseball to the top offensive performers in the game," said Hank Aaron. "Each of the nominees is talented and deserving, which makes me grateful to have the assistance of my fellow Hall of Famers and the fans to help select the winners."

The finalists for the 2014 Hank Aaron Award are:

American League

National League

Baltimore Orioles

Nelson Cruz

Arizona Diamondbacks

Paul Goldschmidt

Boston Red Sox

David Ortiz

Atlanta Braves

Justin Upton

Chicago White Sox

Jose Abreu

Chicago Cubs

Anthony Rizzo

Cleveland Indians

Michael Brantley

Cincinnati Reds

Devin Mesoraco

Detroit Tigers

Victor Martinez

Colorado Rockies

Justin Morneau

Houston Astros

Jose Altuve

Los Angeles Dodgers

Adrian Gonzalez

Kansas City Royals

Alex Gordon

Miami Marlins

Giancarlo Stanton

LA Angels of Anaheim

Mike Trout

Milwaukee Brewers

Jonathan Lucroy

Minnesota Twins

Trevor Plouffe

New York Mets

Daniel Murphy

New York Yankees

Brett Gardner

Philadelphia Phillies

Marlon Byrd

Oakland Athletics

Josh Donaldson

Pittsburgh Pirates

Andrew McCutchen

Seattle Mariners

Robinson Cano

St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Carpenter

Tampa Bay Rays

Evan Longoria

San Diego Padres

Seth Smith

Texas Rangers

Adrian Beltre

San Francisco Giants

Hunter Pence

Toronto Blue Jays

Jose Bautista

Washington Nationals

Anthony Rendon

Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt (2013); Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012); 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).

The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.