SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Baseball writers Thursday put the capper on a remarkable comeback by San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey from a devastating 2011 injury by voting him the National League Most Valuable Player for 2012.
Posey, who helped lead the Giants to their second World Series championship in three years last month, got 27 of 32 firsts-place votes and 422 points from the NL panel, outdistancing 2011 winner Ryan Braun of Milwaukee, who was second with 285 points.
Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera has won the American League’s Most Valuable Player award after becoming baseball’s first Triple Crown winner in 45 years. Cabrera received 22 of 28 first-place votes and 362 points from the AL panel, beating out Los Angeles Angels rookie center fielder Mike Trout with six firsts and 281 points.
In 2012, the All-Star catcher and Giants fan favorite won the NL batting title with a league-best .336 batting average along with 24 home runs and 103 RBIs. Posey was also named NL Comeback Player of the Year, won the Silver Slugger Award as the league’s top offensive catcher, and earned the Giants’ “Willie Mac” Award as the club’s most inspirational performer for 2012.
The awards haul by Posey comes one season after he sustained a broken leg and torn ligaments in his ankle after a harrowing collision at home plate with then Florida Marlins player Scott Cousins on May 25, 2011. The injury wiped out Posey’s season and it was feared could have cost him his career.
Posey, the fifth overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft, won the NL batting title after teammate Melky Cabrera requested a rules change that disqualified him. Cabrera, who hit .346, missed the final 45 games of the regular-season while serving a suspension for a positive testosterone test and would have won the batting crown if the rule hadn’t been changed.
Ernie Lombardi had been the previous catcher to capture the NL batting championship, in 1942.
Catchers have won the NL MVP just eight times, with Posey joining Gabby Hartnett (1935), Lombardi (1938), Roy Campanella (1951, 1953, 1955) and Johnny Bench (1970, 1972). The other winning catchers were Lombardi in 1938 and Gabby Hartnett in 1935.
Posey is the first Giants player to win since Barry Bonds was voted his record seventh MVP award in 2004.
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