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Around the horn with the Sandburg Eagles
ORLAND PARK, (Friday, March 11, 2011) - "We'll be successful this year if our pitching comes through," Sandburg coach Doug Sutor said. "We need to throw strikes, put the ball in play, and make the plays on defense. We have a lot of promising juniors. We'll go as far as our pitching will take us."

Infield:  Senior shortstop Brant Valach batted .319 with 20 RBIs last year. He also had an on-base percentage of .465. Senior first baseman Nick Carney saw limited action last year, but hit .400 with one home run and one double. Nick Bates brings a .405 batting average and 24 RBIs into 2011. Look for junior Dan Rizzi to step up. He hit .419 with 18 RBIs in summer ball.

Outfield:  Ryan Parker will take charge in center field. He was a surprise last year with five home runs and a .429 batting average in summer ball. There will be competition for the other outfield spots with five or six viable candidates. Look for utility man Zach Reks anywhere on the field when Sandburg needs a lefty bat.

Pitching staff:  Nick Bates, Eric Chmielewski, Mike Krzus and Justin Theisen will be at the head of the Sandburg rotation. Theisen had an electric summer with a 5-0 record and a 2.52 ERA. Bates was 3-1 in the summer with a 0.84 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched.

Catcher:  Mike Malfeo had a .383 batting average last year with 28 RBIs, seven home runs and 11 doubles. Junior designated hitter Dylan Rajkovich will be his backup. Rajkovich hit .432 over the summer.

Coach Sutor says:  "We have a lot of interchangeable parts. I think we'll peak at the right time, but we will be tested almost right away. We have seven games (including a JV game) over a six-day stretch starting April 4. We're going to need every one of our 14 pitchers in that stretch, but we are deep."

College recruits:  Brant Valach (Eastern Illinois), Justin Theisen (Kankakee CC). Valach has the Eagles looking to earn their 11th straight regional title in 2011.

Eagles 2010 Record:  27-10, 7-3 in the Southwest Suburban Blue

Eagles 2011 Opener:  March 28 vs. Oak Lawn

Phillies' Halladay:  No-Hitter in NL Playoffs
PHILADELPHIA, (Wednesday, Oct 6, 2010) - Phillies' right-hander Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter in the opening game of the NL Division Playoff Series tonight, defeating the Cincinnati Reds 4-0.

Halladay's gem was the first no-hitter thrown in a post-season game since Don Larsen tossed a perfect game for the Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 World Series.

Roy HalladayHalladay, who finished with eight strikeouts, helped his own cause in the second inning by driving in the game's second run with a line-drive single to left, igniting a three-run outburst.

The only Reds hitter to reach base was Jay Bruce on a two-out walk in the fifth inning.

The final out was registered on a weak dribbler in front of the plate hit by Brandon Phillips that catcher Carlos Ruiz pounced on and threw to first base to end the game.

Ruiz, who threw from his knees to retire Phillips, jumped up and rushed the mound to embrace Halladay while the rest of the Phillies joined in the celebration as the Citizens Bank Park exploded in cheers.

Halladay (nicknamed "Doc") the 2003 AL Cy Young winner, threw a perfect game against the Florida Marlins on May 29.

Another no-hitter:
        Garza throws the latest gem!

                                       It's The Year of the Pitcher!
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA, Monday July 26, 2010 - Matt Garza, Tampa Bay Rays right-hander, threw the first no-hitter in franchise history and the fifth in the majors this season, beating the Detroit Tigers 5-0 Monday night.

The 26-year-old Garza faced the minimum 27 batters in his 106th career start. He allowed only a second-inning walk to Brennan Boesch. After Boesch walked, he was erased on a double play.Matt Garza

Garza (11-5) is the latest star to shine in the 'Year of the Pitcher'. The last time there were at least five no-hitters in a single season was 1991.

It's only the third time in major league history that a team has been involved in three no-hitters during one season.

The 1917 St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox were involved in three - all against each other.

It's also the first time in 37 years that two no-hitters have occurred in the same AL ballpark in one season, and they have occurred within the last 11 games at Tropicana Field.

The closest Detroit came to a hit was Worth's two-out liner, but Zobrist made a leaping grab above his head as he ran toward the wall.

Leading off in the eighth, Tiger's cleanup hitter Miguel Cabrera, who's batting .347 with 24 homers and 88 RBIs, hit a hard liner to left. Carl Crawford barely had to move to make the play.

In the ninth, Garza, who struck out six, retired Don Kelly on a routine grounder to second, struck out Gerald Laird, then, on his 120th pitch, got pinch-hitter, Ramon Santiago, to hit an easy fly ball to right field to end the affair.

"Pitching has gotten better," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I don't know that the hitting has gone back a bit, but the pitching has definitely gotten better." The numbers back him up.

This season, fourteen pitchers have carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning. That's the most through July 26 since at least 1974, as far back as such records go at STATS LLC.

CC Sabathia (Indians) got it all started with a near no-no at Tampa Bay on April 10, and the list of close calls features rookies Ricky Romero (Blue jays) and Travis Wood (Reds) to established stars such as John Lackey (Angels) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (Red Sox).

Ted Lilly of the Cubs and Gavin Floyd of the White Sox even had dueling no-hitters going into the bottom of the seventh inning at Wrigley Field during the Crosstown Classic on June 13.

ORLAND PARK, IL (Saturday, July 17, 2010) - While playing nearly every home game at Centennial Park in 2010, the Southside Express 11-U Team won in excess of 70% of their games in 2010.

In Tournament play, the team won nearly 80% of its games posting a 2010 Tournament record of 25-6-1

2010 Team Highlights
First Place Lenz Play the Turf Round Robin Tournament
First Place Romeoville Rattlers Round-Up Tournament
2nd Place Dupage Dragons 12U Season Opener Tournament
2nd Place Aurora City of Lights Tournament / 16- team Tournament
2nd Place Rebels Memorial Weekend Classic / 12-team Tournament
3rd Place 2010 Chillicothe Crush / 16-team Tournament
3rd Place 2010 Chargers Challenge / 12- team Tournament
Our heartiest congratulations go out to Mike Poe, all the 11-U players for your wonderful season.

All the moms and dads should be very proud!

Not a Masterpiece, but Still a No-Hitter!
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA (Friday, Jun. 25, 2010) - Arizona Diamond Back pitcher, Edwin Jackson pitched a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays tonight.

Jackson (5-6) threw 149 pitches and walked eight but the Rays still were no-hit for the third time since July; Oakland ace, Dallas Braden threw a perfect game against the Rays May 9, and Mark Buehrle threw a perfect game against the Rays on July 23, 2009.

Edwin JohnsonIn the ninth, Jackson struck out B.J. Upton on three pitches. Blalock flied out to left; then Jason Bartlett grounded to shortstop Stephen Drew for the final out and Jackson's teammates mobbed him on the mound after the improbable feat.

The crowd of 18,918 stood and applauded the first no-hitter at Tropicana Field. Both the Rays and the D-Backs began play in 1998.

Jackson was an All-Star last year for Detroit before being traded to Arizona in a three-team trade.

First baseman, Adam LaRoche homered off Jeff Niemann (6-2) with one out in the second...all the support Jackson would need.

"It's one of those moments where you're just caught up in the moment. It's one of the craziest games I've had, especially the game starting off how it did. Not being able to find the strike zone with the fastball," Jackson said. "Good thing I could throw the slider for strikes in any count. It just resurrected my game."

"It was definitely a great feeling, especially after those first few innings. ... After the fifth I looked up and said 'Wow' there's no hits."' Jackson said.

Jackson's no-hitter is the 267th in Major League Baseball history, and the second for the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Randy Johnson threw a perfect game in 2004).

Jackson walked the bases loaded in the third but was bailed out by a stellar play by third baseman Mark Reynolds, who spun around to throw out Ben Zobrist at home plate. Hank Blalock then grounded out to end the inning.

Reynolds made another big play on a sharp line drive by Bartlett in the seventh. Earlier in the at-bat Bartlett hit a dribbler that hung close to the third base line before rolling foul in front of the bag.

In the eighth, Catcher, Miguel Montero threw out pinch-runner Carl Crawford trying to steal second after Carlos Pena reached on an error by Drew.

Jackson's eight walks were a career high - he struck out six.

Brother meets Brother!
Jackson's achievement overshadowed the first-ever meeting of brothers Juston Upton, D-Backs Right Fielder and B.J Upton, Rays Center Fielder.
Most Pitches in a No-Hitter
149 Edwin Jackson,  D-Backs (2010)
138 Randy Johnson,  Mariners (1990)
134 Dwight Gooden,  Yankees (1996)
134 Bud Smith,  Cardinals (2001)

Sandburg's Theisen flirts with a No-Hitter!
LANSING, ILLINOIS (Monday, April, 19, 2010) - Sandburg High School sophomore Justin Theisen had a no-hitter going through the first six innings in tonight's game against Illiana Christian High School.

Justin Theisen"We've had a difficult time when facing left-handed pitchers", said Illiana coach Dave Beezhold, and tonight was no exception as Illiana (ranked No. 2 by the Northwest Indiana Times) was handcuffed by Sandburg southpaw Justin Theisen.

Seth Wiltjer broke up the no-hitter with a single in the sixth inning.

"He (Theisen) kept us off balance and his fastball rose a little bit," Austin Evenhouse (Illiana starter) said. "I had some trouble with some walks, but we just couldn't get anything going with the bats."

Illiana scored its two runs in the seventh inning off reliever Mike Krzus.

Sandburg 5 - Illiana 2

Perfection II

This time it's the Phillies' Halladay
MIAMI, FL (Saturday, May 29, 2010) - Phillies ace, Roy Halladay became the 20th pitcher in major league baseball history to throw a perfect game.

Roy HalladayHalladay threw 115 pitches (72 for strikes) and distributed his outs evenly, eight in the air and eight on the ground to go with his 11 strikeouts.

Marlins manager, Fredi Gonzalez did everything he could to break up the perfect game. In the ninth inning, he used three veteran pinch-hitters to bat for three younger players.

The Final Out
Halladay finished off the affair by getting pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino, to hit a grounder to third baseman Juan Castro.

For a moment, the ball seemed to be headed for the hole between short and third, but Castro reached down, spun and fired to first baseman, Ryan Howard, to end the game.

Phillies 1, Marlins 0

Second Perfect Game This Season
It was the second perfect game in the majors this season. On May 9th, Dallas Braden did it for the A's against the Rays.

It's the first time in the modern era that there have been two perfectos in the same season, and already a third no-hitter with Rockie's Ubaldo Jimenez doing it on April 17th against the Braves.

    Bullet    The only other season with two perfect games was 1880. (scroll down to see the
           complete record)

    Bullet    Of the 20 perfect games thrown in baseball history, three have come in the last two

    Bullet    The Phillies are the fifth team to have two perfect games in their history. Hall of
           Famer, Jim Bunning threw the other against the Mets, June 21, 1964.

Fun in Philly
These are heady times for Philadelphia sports fans, generally conditioned to disappointment.

The Phillies won the 2008 World Series, followed it with another National League Pennant in 2009, and have led the National League East nearly all of 2010.

And on Saturday, while Halladay was humbling the Marlins, the Philadelphia Flyers were opening the Stanley Cup finals against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Perfection in Oakland!
OAKLAND (Sunday, May 9, 2010) - Dallas Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in Major League Baseball history this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Dallas BradenThe A's southpaw did it in just 109 pitches, 77 of which were strikes.

This is the majors' first perfect game since Mark Buehrle did it for the White sox against the Rays on July 23, 2009.

It's the second no-hitter this season.  Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez accomplished it in Atlanta on April 17.

It's the A's first perfect game since Hall of Famer Jim "Catfish" Hunter's gem on May, 8, 1968, against the Twins.

The closest the Rays got to a hit was Jason Bartlett's liner right at 3rd baseman, Eric Chavez, leading off the first inning. Evan Longoria tried to bunt leading off the fifth, drawing boos from the crowd.

Landon Powell caught the game with regular catcher Kurt Suzuki injured.

This was also a first for longtime umpire Jim Wolf, who worked home plate.

Braden was a 24th round pick by Oakland in 2004; he began play with Vancouver in the Northwest League, and then was moved up to the Kane County Cougars in the Midwest League.

Oakland 4 - Tampa Bay 0
Major League Baseball Perfect Games
    Pitcher Date    Game
  1 Lee Richmond (WOR)
Jun 12, 1880 Cleveland Blues, 0
Worcester Ruby Legs, 1
  2 John Montgomery Ward (Prov) Jun 17, 1880 Buffalo Bisons, 0
Providence Grays, 5
  3 Cy Young (BOS) May 5, 1904 Philadelphia A's, 0
Boston Americans, 3
  4 Addie Joss (CLE)
74 pitches, 3 K
Oct 2, 1908 Chicago White Sox, 0
Cleveland Naps, 1
  5 Charlie Robertson (CHW)
90 pitches, 6 K
Apr 30, 1922 Chicago White Sox, 2
Detroit Tigers, 0
  6 Don Larsen (NYY)
97 Pitches, 7 K
Game 5, 1956 World Series
Oct 8, 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers, 0
New York Yankees, 2
  7 Jim Bunning (PHI)
90 pitches, 10 K
Jun 21, 1964 Philadelphia Phillies, 6
New York Mets, 0
  8 Sandy Koufax (LAD)
113 pitches, 14 K
Sept 9, 1965 Chicago Cubs, 0
Los Angeles Dodgers, 1
  9 Catfish Hunter (OAK)
107 pitches, 11 K
May 8, 1968 Minnesota Twins, 0
Oakland A's, 4
10 Len Barker (CLE)
103 pitches, 11 K
May 15, 1981 Toronto Blue Jays, 0
Cleveland Indians, 3
11 Mike Witt (CAL)
94 pitches, 10 K
Sept 30, 1984 California Angels, 1
Texas Rangers, 0
12 Tom Browning (CIN)
102 pitches, 7 K
Sept 16, 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers, 0
Cincinnati Reds, 1
13 Dennis Martínez (MON)
95 pitches, 5 K
July 28, 1991 Montreal Expos, 2
Los Angeles Dodgers, 0
14 Kenny Rogers (TEX)
98 pitches, 8 K
July 28, 1994 California Angels, 0
Texas Rangers, 4
15 David Wells (NYY)
120 pitches, 11 K
May 17, 1998 Minnesota Twins, 0
New York Yankees, 4
16 David Cone (NYY)
88 pitches, 10 K
July 18, 1999 Montreal Expos, 0
New York Yankees, 6
17 Randy Johnson (ARI)
117 pitches, 13 K
May 18, 2004 Arizona D'Backs, 2
Atlanta Braves, 0
18 Mark Buehrle (CHW)
116 pitches, 6 K
July 23, 2009 Tampa Bay Rays, 0
Chicago White Sox, 5
19 Dallas Braden (OAK)
109 pitches, 6 K
May 9, 2010 Tampa Bay Rays, 0
Oakland A's, 4
20 Roy Halladay (PHIL)
115 pitches, 11 K
May 29, 2010 Philadelphia Phillies, 1
Tampa Bay Rays, 0

          Just exactly what, is a perfect game?         ⇒          Find Out Here

First No-hitter of 2010

Rockies' Jimenez shuts down Braves
ATLANTA (Saturday, April 17, 2010) Ubaldo Jimenez, firing fastballs that reached 98 mph into the ninth inning, pitched the first no-hitter in the 2010 season tonight, and the first no-hitter in the Rockies' 18-year history.

Ubaldo JimenezAfter walking the leadoff batter in the fifth inning (his sixth walk), Jimenez began working exclusively out of the stretch.

He retired the next 15 batters to end it, but in the seventh inning, received help from Dexter Fowler who made a spectacular catch in left-center of Troy Glaus' sinking line-drive, the Braves best chance for a hit all evening.

The 26-year-old right-hander, struck out seven and helped his own cause with an RBI single in the fourth inning.

It's the first no-hitter since White Sox ace Mark Buehrle's perfect game against Tampa Bay on July 23, 2009.

"It's every pitcher's dream to be out there for nine innings and throw a no-hitter," Jimenez said.

Mets Outlast Cardinals in 20 Innings

Most Scoreless Innings in Two Years
ST. LOUIS (Saturday, April 17, 2010) Jose Reyes hit a sacrifice fly in the 20th inning and the Mets outlasted the Cardinals 2-1 in the longest scoreless-innings game in the majors in two years.

St. Louis ScoreboardThe scoreless tie was snapped in the 19th inning when Mets right fielder, Jeff Francoeur, hit a sacrifice fly scoring Jose Reyes; but in the bottom of the 19th, Yadier Molina singled in Albert Pujols to tie the score.

Angel Pagan lead off the 20th with an infield single and advanced to third on Mike Jacobs' base hit to right. Reyes followed with a fly ball to center giving the Mets the 2-1 lead.

The Cardinals went down in order in the bottom of the 20th to end the 6 hours, 53 minute marathon.

The game included 19 pitchers; the Cardinals used two position players to pitch, and sent relief pitchers in to bat with the bases loaded several times, and left 22 baserunners stranded.

It was the longest game in the majors since the Rockies beat the Padres 2-1 in 22 innings on April 17, 2008.

It was the longest scoreless-innings game in the majors since the Dodgers and Expos went 21 innings without a run on August 23, 1989, according to STATS LLC. In that one, the Dodgers won 1-0 on Rick Dempsey's leadoff homer in the 22nd.


    Bullet    Pujols walked four times (two intentional)

    Bullet    Met's David Wright walked twice giving him a major-league-leading 16 walks so
           far this season

    Bullet    Reliever Pedro Feliciano made his 373rd career appearance, moving him into
           fourth place on the Mets career list.

    Bullet    Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina were presented their Gold Glove awards
           before the game.

    Bullet    Albert Pujols will receive his NL MVP award and Silver Slugger bat before
           Sunday's game.

Yankees Win 2009 Series

Defeat Phillies in 6 Games
NEW YORK - (November 4, 2009)  The New York Yankees won the 2009 World Series
defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. It's the Yankees 27th World Championship
in their 107 year history.
  Philadelphia   6   Philadelphia   1   New York   8
  New York   1   New York  3   Philadelphia   5
  New York   7   New York   6   Philadelphia   3
  Philadelphia   4   Philadelphia   8   New York   7
World Series Facts

    Bullet    This was the 105th World Series

    Bullet    The 'Fall Classic' has been played continually since 1903,
           except 1904 (series not held) and 1994 (player strike)

    Bullet    This year, the American League won the All-Star Game
           giving the Yankees home-field advantage for the Series.

    Bullet    2009 World Series Milestones

                 Andy Pettitte (NY)   Most career post-season wins - 18
                 Mariano Rivera (NY)   Most career World Series saves - 11
                 Chase Utley (Phil)   Most home runs in a World Series - 5
                 Hideki Matsui (NY)   Most RBI's in a single World Series game - 6
                 Ryan Howard (Phil)   Most strikeouts in a World Series - 13
Most World Series Appearances
New York Yankees 40 27
St. Louis Cardinals 17 10
Brooklyn Dodgers   9   1
Los Angeles Dodgers   9   5
Philadelphia A's   8   5
Oakland A's   6   4
The World Series MVP Award
      A Brief History

    Bullet    The MVP is determined during the final game of the Series by a committee of
           reporters and officials present at the game.

    Bullet    Johnny Podres won the first award in 1955 with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
           Podres beat the Yankees twice in the Series; both victories were complete games.

    Bullet    Don Larsen won in 1956 after pitching the only perfect game in World Series
The 2009 World Series MVP

Hideki Matsui
Hideki Matsui, MVP Hideki Matsui Gets A Hit
A good view of the MVP trophy and a good look at Matsui's swing

The World Series Trophy
The Commissioner's TrophyKnown as The Commissioner's Trophy, it is awarded each year by Major League Baseball to the team winning the World Series.

It is the only championship trophy of the 'Big Four' that is not named after a particular person:
      Stanley Cup (NHL)
      Vince Lombardi Trophy (NFL)
      Larry O'Brien Trophy (NBA).

The current trophy, made by Tiffany & Co., was redesigned slightly in 1999.

  Bullet    It is 24 inches tall, excluding the base, and has a diameter of 11 inches

  Bullet    It weighs approximately 30 pounds and is made of sterling silver

  Bullet    The trophy features 30 gold-plated, hand-furled flags, one for each
         of the Major League teams, which rise above an arched oxidized-
         silver baseball with latitude and longitude lines symbolizing the world

  Bullet    The baseball also contains 24-karat vermeil baseball stitches

  Bullet    The baseball itself weighs over 10 pounds

  Bullet    The base contains an inscription and the signature of the
         commissioner of baseball

  Bullet    It has an estimated value of $15,000


2009  MVP  Awards
Pujols 'threepeat' in NL
SAINT LOUIS - (Monday, Nov 24, 2009) Albert Pujols has just won the National League Most Valuable Player Award, receiving all 32 first-place votes.

Albert PujolsHis Third MVP  (05, 08, 09)
The 30 year old first baseman, who has played his entire career for the Cardinals, hit .334 to lead all active players at the end of the 2009 season, slugging percentage .628, and ranks among the leading home run hitters in Major League Baseball history.

He was selected by ESPN.com as the greatest player of the decade (2000-2009).

Pujols is well known for his all-around ability, his hitting, both for average and power, plus his base-running and fielding.

His consistency over his nine years in the majors has earned him the reputation as one of the best players in the game today.

Since his rookie year (2001), Pujols has been selected as a All-Star eight times, has won the National League MVP award three times (2005, 2008, and 2009), and earned a World Series ring in 2006.
Joe MauerJoe Mauer MVP in AL

...also wins second straight Gold Glove
NEW YORK (November 23, 2009) - Joe Mauer, the outstanding catcher for the Minnesota Twins, won the American League MVP award.

Mauer received 27 out of 28 first place votes.

After missing April with a back injury, Mauer returned to the lineup and homered on his very first swing and went on to lead the AL in batting (.365), on-base percentage (.444), slugging percentage (.587) and became the first AL player to dominate all three categories in the same season since George Brett (Royals) in 1980.

Mauer hit 28 homers and had 96 RBIs. He had more walks (76) than strikeouts (63).

Mauer batted .378 from Sept. 13 on, helping the Twins overtake Detroit for the AL Central title. He was voted to his third All-Star team and won his second straight Gold Glove.

"I love catching. I love the demands that are put on me and the responsibilities that I have, although it might beat you up a little bit physically and mentally," Mauer said. "I like being back there making those decisions, you know, for my team."

2009 Rookie of the Year
(The Jackie Robinson Award)
Andrew Bailey captures AL rookie award
Andrew BailyOAKLAND (November 16, 2009) - A's right-hander Andrew Bailey has been named the American League's 2009 Rookie of the Year.

Bailey, 25, posted 26 saves (no other AL rookie reliever had more than two), with a 1.84 ERA, also the best among AL rookies.

Moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen at Double-A Midland at midseason in 2008, Bailey didn't just make a successful transition to relief work...he made the transition look like a breeze.

After dominating the second half of the 2008 season at Midland, he following suit in the prestigious Arizona Fall League and did the same in his first trip to big league Spring Training in 2009.

Named to the 25-man roster in part because projected closer Joey Devine was out with an elbow injury, Bailey was handed a low-stress role in the season's first several weeks but steadily climbed the ladder of responsibility.

He picked up his first save in early May and eventually took over as the full-time closer, converting his final 21 save opportunities, dating back to June 17.

"We didn't give him the job," pitching coach Curt Young said in September. "He took it."

Baily was named the A's lone representative at the All-Star Game in St. Louis this summer.
Chris Coghlan named NL's Top Rookie
MIAMI (November 16, 2009) Marlin outfielder, Chris Coghlan, has been named the winner of the National League Rookie of the Year Award.Chris Coghlan

The 24-year-old Coghlan was called up from Triple-A New Orleans on May 8 and the Marlins turned him into something he wasn't...an outfielder and leadoff hitter.

The Marlins were set at leadoff with shortstop Hanley Ramirez. That is, until Coghlan took over at that spot on a full-time basis on May 30 and finished leading the NL in batting average (.336), on-base percentage (.397), and as a table-setter.

Coghlan was moved from his natural position of second base because of two-time All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla.

Coghlan, a minor-league infielder and middle-of-the-order hitter in April, turned into an experiment-gone-right, becoming the third Marlins player (pitcher, Dontrelle Willis, 03, and shortstop, Hanley Ramirez, 06) to capture the annual rookie award.

His batting average was the highest ever by a Marlins rookie -- easily topping the .292 clips of Ramirez and outfielder Jeff Conine (2005) -- and he is just the eighth Major League rookie in the past 50 years to hit .321 or better.

2009 Cy Young Award
Zack Greinke wins the AL Cy Young Award
NEW YORK (November 17, 2009) - The Kansas City Royals' Zack Greinke won the American League Cy Young Award on Tuesday, beating out Felix Hernandez (Mariners) after a season short on wins but long on domination.

Greinke went 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA for the Royals. Hernandez went 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA for the Seattle Mariners.
Zack Greinke
Greinke received 25 first-place votes and three seconds for 134 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Hernandez drew two firsts, 23 seconds and one third for 80 points.

Greinke's ERA was the lowest in the AL since Pedro Martinez's (Phillies) 1.74 ERA in 2000 and his 242 strikeouts were second in the league behind Justin Verlander (Tigers).

It was quite a turnaround for the 26-year-old right-hander, who was the sixth overall pick in the 2002 amateur draft but led the AL in losses in 2005 when he went 5-17.
Tim Lincecum wins NL Cy Young Award

...his second in two years!
SAN FRANCISCO (November 19, 2009) - It's now two-for-two, as San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum was named the 2009 National League Cy Young Award winner for the second straight year.

In what became one of the closest voting in the history of the coveted award, Lincecum became the first repeat winner since teammate Randy Johnson did it four times with Arizona (99, 00, 01, and 02).

Tim Lincecum Lincecum became the first recipient to earn the award with only 15 wins in a season, the fewest by a starter over a full season. The 25-year-old Lincecum led the NL in strikeouts with 261 and was also tied for complete games (4) and shutouts (2). How close was this race?

The difference between Lincecum and the top-3 vote-getters -- Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, both Cardinals, -- was just 10 points. "The guys I was going up against, Wainwright and Carpenter, had tremendous seasons," Lincecum said. "It was a lucky one for me. I'll take them as they come I guess."

Lincecum joins 2009 AL Cy Young winner Royals' Zack Greinke, who was also honored despite being on a losing team and also equaled the previous low of 16 wins.

P Adam Wainwright Cardinals   P Mark Buehrle WhiteSox
C Yadier Molina Cardinals   C Joe Mauer Twins
1B Adrian Gonzalez Padres   1B Mark Teixeira Yankees
2B Orlando Hudson Dodgers   2B Placido Polanco Tigers
3B Ryan Zimmerman Nationals   3B Evan Longoria Rays
SS Jimmy Rollins Phillies   SS Derek Jeter Yankees
OF Michael Bourn Astros   OF Torii Hunter Angels
OF Matt Kemp Dodgers   OF Adam Jones Orioles
OF Shane Victorino Phillies   OF Ichiro Suzuki Mariners

1 Hall of Fame             2 Active Player             (XX) Players Age
Rank   Player Name Home  Runs
    1   Barry Bonds 762
    2   Hank Aaron1 755
    3   Babe Ruth1 714
    4   Willie Mays1 660
    5   Ken Griffey, Jr.2 (40) 630
    6   Sammy Sosa 609
    7   Frank Robinson1 586
    8   Alex Rodriguez2 (34) 583
    8   Mark McGwire 583
    9   Harmon Killebrew1 573
  10   Rafael Palmeiro 569
  12   Jim Thome2 (39) 565
  13   Micky Mantle1 536
  20   Ernie Banks1 512
  25   Lou Gehrig1 493
  28   Stan Musial1 475
  38   Cal Ripken1 431
  40   Billy Williams1 426
  70   Joe DiMaggio1 361
  73   Yogi Berra1 358
  81   Ron Santo 342
  92   Paul Konerko2 (34) 328
 129   Derrek Lee2 (34) 293
 134   Alfonso Soriano2 (34) 290
 638   A. J. Pierzynski2 (34) 111

"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough
to eat six."   - - Yogi  Berra
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