Jeter, Teixeira win Silver Slugger Awards
After winning Gold Gloves, Yanks duo gets another honor
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira will have more keepsakes to add to their trophy cases from the 2009 season. Both Yankees were announced on Thursday as American League Silver Slugger Award winners, indicative of being the top offensive performers at their respective positions.
It had already been a good week after the World Series victory for both Jeter and Teixeira, who were informed on Tuesday of their selection as Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners. Now, they have received much-deserved credit for their offensive contributions.
Jeter, who won his fourth consecutive AL Silver Slugger Award, batted .334 with 107 runs scored, 27 doubles, 18 home runs, 66 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 153 games in leading New York to the crown.
"I think everyone sets goals and tries to accomplish those goals, and our goal here is to win," Jeter said during the postseason. "That's the bottom line. I try to do whatever I can on that particular day to help us win. You just try to be consistent."
It marked Jeter's 11th year with at least a .300 average, the 35-year-old's highest average since 2006 (.343) and the seventh time in his career he logged 200 or more hits.
In a season when he surpassed Lou Gehrig's franchise record for career hits, Jeter ranked second in the Majors in hits and fourth in batting average. Jeter also ranked third in the AL in on-base percentage (.406) and tied with teammate Johnny Damon for fourth in the AL in runs scored.
"He's going to be the only Yankee to ever hit 3,000 hits," Jorge Posada said this year. "That tells you right there what kind of player [he is]. All the players that came through here, and he's going to be the only one with 3,000 hits. He's a special guy. A really special guy."
It has been a busy hardware season for Jeter, who has also won the Hank Aaron Award, indicative of the AL's top offensive player as voted on by more than 1.6 million fans at MLB.com, as well as the Roberto Clemente Award for his humanitarian contributions to Major League Baseball.
Teixeira, 29, won his third Silver Slugger Award and first since 2005 after hitting .292 with 103 runs scored, 43 doubles, 39 home runs and 122 RBIs in 156 games for the Yankees.
The switch-hitting first baseman led the AL in RBIs and tied the Rays' Carlos Pena for the league lead in homers, joining the Cardinals' Albert Pujols as the only players to have at least 100 runs scored, 40 doubles and 35 homers in 2009.
"For me, it's just being consistent," Teixeira said this year. "I think that's what I've been the proudest of in my career, that I've been consistent. You look at my career averages, and I'm a little bit above or a little bit below every category every year of my career. Fluctuations happen, but I just feel like I came in here with the same mind-set that I've had every single year, and I've had the same kind of season."
After a slow start to his first season in pinstripes, Teixeira's year turned for the better on May 8, when Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup.
From that date through the end of the regular season, Teixeira batted .310 and led the AL in homers (34) and RBIs (107) over that span as the Yankees went 88-43 to finish with a Major League-leading 103 victories.
"A guy like Tex, you know that he's a great player, but I don't think you can appreciate it as much [until] you see him every day," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said this year. "You see all the little things that he does. You might play him in a three-game series and not see those things."
The Silver Slugger Award was instituted in 1980 and is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by Major League coaches and managers, who are not permitted to vote for players on their own club.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.