With the MVP voting still ahead of us, Jacoby Ellsbury has already landed one piece of hardware: the American League’s Comeback Player of the Year Award. The first major league baseball player of Navajo descent, and a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, Ellsbury had one of the most spectacular seasons for a leadoff hitter in the history of the sport. What made the season even more magical was that it came after a 2010 in which he played only 18 games due to multiple injuries to his ribs.
As we’ve covered extensively here at Indian Country Today Media Network, Ellsbury’s fifth season in the big leagues was nothing short of historic. Hitting .321 with 32 home runs, 105 RBIs, 39 steals, 46 doubles, five triples and 119 runs, Ellsbury lead the entire league with 364 total bases and 83 extra-base hits. He’s the first player in Red Sox team history to be the primary leadoff hitter and smash over 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in a season, and the first to do this in the big leagues in nine years (the last was Alfonso Soriano for the Yankees in 2002). Ellsbury also become only the fourth player in Major League history to have 200 hits, 100 RBis, 35 steals and 30 home runs in a single season.
The Comeback Player of the Year Awards are selected by 30 MLB.com beat reporters.