Originally created 11/14/06

Ramirez, Verlander take rookie honors

NEW YORK - Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins won a tight race for National League Rookie of the Year, and Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander took home the American League award Monday.

Ramirez beat out Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman by only four points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The speedy shortstop got 14 of 30 first-place votes and finished with 105 points. Zimmerman received 10 first-place votes and totaled 101 points.

Three of the top four NL finishers were Marlins. Second baseman Dan Uggla came in third, getting the other six first-place votes, and pitcher Josh Johnson was fourth.

Verlander easily won the AL honor after his closest competitors in a race dominated by pitchers were sidelined late in the season because of injuries. The hard-throwing right-hander, who helped the surprising Tigers reach the World Series, was listed first on 26 of 28 ballots for a total of 133 points.

Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon came in second with 63 points, and Minnesota lefty Francisco Liriano finished third.

Local connection

Before National League Rookie of the Year Hanley Ramirez was a Florida Marlin, he was an Augusta GreenJacket.

At 19, Ramirez played 111 games at shortstop for the GreenJackets, who were then affiliated with the Boston Red Sox.

In 2003 in Augusta, he hit .275, stole 36 bases, drove in 50 runs and hit eight home runs.

This year for the Florida Marlins, he hit .292 with 51 stolen bases, 59 RBI and 17 home runs.

Ramirez was traded from the Red Sox organization to the Marlins as part of the deal that sent Josh Beckett to Boston.

- Staff Writer Steve Sanders


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