OF NICK MARKAKIS, who has played every game this season and leads the Orioles in batting average, home runs and RBI, has been voted winner of the 2007 Louis M. Hatter Most Valuable Oriole Award by members of the local media who cover the team on a regular basis.
Markakis, who finishes his second major league season this afternoon, was the only player named on all 28 ballots. He enters today's season finale with a .300 batting average, 23 homers and 112 RBI. He ranks 8th in the American League in RBI and also is tied for 6th in the league with a team-leading 43 doubles. He also is 5th among all AL outfielders in assists with 13 and 6th in fielding percentage (.994).
Markakis is one of eight major leaguers and the only Oriole to play in each of his team's games this season. In addition to leading the Orioles in doubles, homers and RBI, he also is the team leader in hits (191), total bases (309) and slugging percentage (.485), is 2nd in runs scored (97) and 3rd in stolen bases (18). His 43 doubles is tied for 6th highest single-season total in club history.
He is only the third player in club history to record 100 or more RBI in his second full season in the majors, joining Jim Gentile (141 in 1961) and Cal Ripken (102 in 1983).
Markakis becomes the 35th different player to win the Most Valuable Oriole Award, which is named in honor of the late Lou Hatter, former sportswriter for the Baltimore Sun, who covered the Orioles for 27 years. Balloting for the Most Valuable Oriole Award is conducted with voting on a 5-3-1 basis. LHP Erik Bedard and 2B Brian Roberts also received first place votes and finished second and third, respectively, in the voting. 1B Kevin Millar, LHP Jamie Walker and RHP Jeremy Guthrie also received votes.
Earlier this week, Guthrie was named Favorite New Oriole for 2007 by members of the Oriole Advocates, the non-profit organization that assists the Orioles in numerous public and community relations functions and is dedicated to promoting the game of baseball at both the amateur and professional levels. Guthrie, acquired on waivers from Cleveland in January, finished 7-5 with a 3.70 ERA in 32 games in his first full big league season.