November 09, 2004

Bay named NL Rookie of the Year

NEW YORK - Although he did not get his rookie season started until May, Jason Bay emerged as the cream of the rookie class in the National League.

On Monday, Bay was named the 2004 NL Rookie of the Year, becoming the first Canadian-born player and first member of the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the award, which has been presented annually since 1947.

The 26-year-old Bay received 25 first-place votes and a total of 146 points from a voting committee of members of the Baseball Writers Association. Each voter selected three players, with the first choice getting five points, second getting three points and third collecting a point.

"It is truly an honor to win this award," Bay said. "Being the first Pirate and the first Canadian-born player to win makes it even better."

Bay, whose job as the Pirates' left fielder was delayed by offseason shoulder surgery, batted .282 with 26 homers and 82 RBI in 411 at-bats. He set a franchise record for home runs among rookies and slugged .550 - ranking in the top five all-time among rookies.

The National League's Rookie of the Month for June, July and September, Bay led all major league rookies in home runs and RBI while leading all NL rookies in total bases (226) and extra-base hits (54).

"It's a great honor for Jason and the organization and we look forward to having him in a Pittsburgh uniform for years to come," Pirates senior vice president and general manager Dave Littlefield said.

Bay edged San Diego Padres shortstop Khalil Greene, who received seven first-place votes and a total of 108 points.

The 24-year-old Greene, who was a minor league roommate of Bay when the two were in the Padres system, batted .273 with 15 homers and 65 RBI before suffering a finger injury in September.

Last year's recipient, Dontrelle Willis of Florida, struggled with consistency in 2004.

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