BELLINGER, JUDGE CAP­TURE ROOKIE OF YEAR AWARDS

Slug­gers earn ev­ery first-place vote for Rook­ies of the Year.

The Palm Beach Post - - SPORTS -

The only ma­jor ques­tion was whether it would be unan­i­mous — and it was.

Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger are base­ball’s Rook­ies of the Year for 2017 af­ter their record-set­ting home run binges elim­i­nated any se­ri­ous com­pe­ti­tion for the honors. Judge led the Amer­i­can League with 52 homers, the most ever by a rookie. Bellinger hit 39 and had to set­tle for the Na­tional League’s rookie record.

Judge and Bellinger re­ceived ev­ery first-place vote avail­able from the Base­ball Writ­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica. Judge be­came the first Yan­kees player to re­ceive this award since Derek Jeter in 1996. Bellinger gave the Dodgers a record 18th Rookie of the Year win­ner.

Bos­ton out­fielder An­drew Ben­in­tendi fin­ished se­cond in the AL vote, fol­lowed by Bal­ti­more’s Trey Mancini. St. Louis in­fielder Paul DeJong was the NL run­ner-up, with Pitts­burgh’s Josh Bell third.

Judge also is a fi­nal­ist for the MVP award. Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 and Fred Lynn in 1975 are the only play­ers to win the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same sea­son.

Bellinger is the se­cond straight Dodger to win Rookie of the Year. Short­stop Corey Sea­ger did it last year.

This is the first time both Rookie of the Year awards were unan­i­mous since 1997, when No­mar Gar­ci­a­parra of Bos­ton and Scott Rolen of Philadelphia won.

Bel­tran re­tires: It took some time, but Car­los Bel­tran fi­nally got there, win­ning a World Se­ries ti­tle af­ter 20 sea­sons in the ma­jors.

Now he is leav­ing the Astros and base­ball, re­tir­ing af­ter a ca­reer in which he was a nine-time All-Star and 1999 Rookie of the Year. The des­ig­nated hit­ter/out­fielder, 40, made the an­nounce­ment Mon­day, 12 days af­ter the Astros beat the Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Se­ries. He an­nounced his re­tire­ment in an es­say writ­ten for The Play­ers’ Tribune web­site.

“I re­al­ized early on that my pur­pose in this game was to share knowl­edge with younger play­ers and to give back to the game of base­ball,” he wrote. “I al­ways wanted to do that — that, and be the best team­mate I could pos­si­bly be. Over 20 years, I feel like I ac­com­plished that. So whether we won or lost Game 7, I would have still been happy with my ca­reer. But it still feels nice to have a ring.”

Bel­tran hit .231 with 14 homers and 51 RBIs for Hous­ton this sea­son. He fin­ishes with a .279 av­er­age, 435 homers, 1,587 RBIs and 312 steals.

Braves: Alex An­thopou­los was named gen­eral man­ager and John Hart was re­moved as team pres­i­dent and will as­sume a se­nior ad­viser role. An­thopou­los is a former Dodgers and Blue Jays ex­ec­u­tive.

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