NEW YORK -- In a pre-game ceremony this evening, Tampa Bay Rays first baseman, Carlos Pena, will receive a prestigious Players Choice Award as the 2007 AL Comeback Player. Selected in a secret ballot of all American League players, Carlos will receive the Players Choice Award for a record-breaking season at the plate. Carlos teammate, James Shields, will represent his American League peers in presenting Carlos with this award.
Last season, Carlos set a number of Rays single-season records, with 46 home runs, 121 RBIs, 103 walks, a .411 on-base percentage and .627 slugging percentage. He also became the first player in Major League history to hit 40 home runs the season after being released from a team.
In Carlos honor, the Major League Baseball Players Trust will award a $20,000 grant to the Dominican Republic-based Fundacion Lumen 2000, to help the approximately 3,000 families they serve in the Province of San Francisco de Marcoris. The funds will be used in the areas of health, education, food and shelter. 2007 Players Choice Award winners in all categories will designate charities to receive grants totaling $260,000 from the Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing over $3 million to charities around the world.
Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. In partnership with Volunteers of America, the national human service organization, the Players Trust created and helps administer the Action Team, a national youth volunteer program currently inspiring the next generation of volunteers in cities throughout the United States. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com.