Clayton Kershaw on Monday became the first player to ever win three Players Choice Awards in a single year as he was recognized by his fellow players as the NL's Outstanding Pitcher and the overall Player of the Year as well as the Marvin Miller Man of the Year, which goes to the player in either league who most inspires others through his efforts on and off the field.
The 26-year-old left-hander's career-low 1.77 ERA marked the fourth straight season he has won the NL ERA title and was the lowest in baseball since Pedro Martinez posted a 1.74 ERA for the Red Sox in 2000. The four-time All-Star also led NL pitchers with a 7.5 WAR and highlighted his season with a June 18 no-hitter against the Rockies in which he struck out 15 batters and didn't allow a walk. He ranks first among active players with a 2.48 career ERA.
Kershaw was named the Marvin Miller Man of the Year by his peers in part because of his dominance and leadership on the mound but primarily for the efforts he makes in the community. Inspired by their relationship with a malnourished, HIV-infected girl in Lusaka, Zambia named Hope, Clayton and his wife, Ellen, began Kershaw's Challenge in 2011. The idea of the "Challenge" is to use whatever you have been blessed with - talent, passion or purpose - to give back to others.
While Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout fell short as finalists for overall Player of the Year, each won the Outstanding Player award in his league. Stanton was leading the NL in home runs (37), RBIs (105) and slugging (.555) when he was hit in the face by a pitch on September 11, ending his season prematurely. Trout, still just 23, had the best of his three standout seasons to start his career, leading the AL with an 8.7 offensive WAR, 338 total bases, 115 runs and 111 RBIs while batting .287 and hitting 36 home runs.
Five-time All-Star Felix Hernandez was named the AL Outstanding Pitcher by his peers to earn his first Players Choice Award. He led the AL with a 2.14 ERA and a 0.915 WHIP while yielding a league-low 6.5 hits per nine innings over 34 starts for the resurgent Mariners. He won 15 games.
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