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November 23, 2010

Josh Hamilton honored as American League MVP

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who led the major leagues with a .359 average and also hit 32 homers with 100 RBIs, has been named the MVP of the American League.

Hamilton received 22 of 28 first-place votes, easily outpointing Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera and New York second baseman Robinson Cano.

"Hopefully, a most valuable player is someone who excelled, obviously, at their position and with the bat," Hamilton said during a conference call. "But most of all he does things each night, whatever that might be, that help their team win.

"So, I hope and I think I did that the majority of the season when I was playing. It helped us get somewhere we'd never been before as an organization. At the same time, you can't be an MVP without your teammates, so I've got to give thanks to all those guys."

Hamilton hit over .400 during a three-month stretch that started June 1 as the Rangers went from a first-place tie in the AL West to an eight-game lead Sept. 4, the day he broke three ribs at Minnesota. He played only five games the rest of the year, but the Rangers cruised to their first AL West title since 1999.

He thought the injury and the fact that he played only 133 games could cost him the MVP.

"When people would talk to me about the possibility of this, that's what I would tell them," Hamilton said.

Hamilton, Cabrera, Cano and Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista were named on all 28 ballots. The rest of the top 10 included: Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, Rays left fielder Carl Crawford, Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, Boston Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre, and Twins left fielder Delmon Young.

Rangers designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero was 11th in balloting, which was announced at 1 p.m.

Hamilton is the fifth Rangers player to win the MVP, following Jeff Burroughs (1974), Juan Gonzalez (1996, 1998), Ivan Rodriguez (1999) and Alex Rodriguez (2003).

-- Jeff Wilson

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A very well deserved honor for Josh.

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