Maple City's Alex Friedman and Union Mills' Josh Trim Named 2021 Comeback Players of the Year
Throughout the week, the Old Republic Wiffleball League will be handing out its yearly honors. Today we announce the winners of the 2021 American and National League Comeback Player of the Year Awards.
The Comeback Player of the Year Awards are presented annually to one player in each league who has re-emerged on the field during the season and who has shown improvement. Prior to this season, the award had been called the Most Improved Award but we made the change to follow in line with Major League Baseball like we do with our other awards.
Managers voted for their top three in each category for both the American and National League. Players/Managers received 3 points for a 1st place vote, 2 points for a 2nd place vote, and 1 point for a 3rd place vote. The votes were then added up to determine the winner of each award. At the end of the week once all votes are handed out, the ballots will be made public.
Starting in the American League, it was the Maple City Magic skipper Alex Friedman who received the most votes with 33 while receiving 8 first place votes. After a really tough three year stretch in which he hit .265, Friedman re-emerged as a legitimate threat at the bottom of the Magic's lineup as he put together one of his finest seasons yet in what is now his 11th year in the league.
Friedman had 6 HR, 9 RBI, and 10 Runs combined in 94 At Bats between the years of 2018-2020 as his 3 HR last year was his high mark during that three year span. In 2021, Friedman sported a career high Batting Average of .495 as he went 45/91 with 27 HR, 38 RBI, and 38 Runs.
He quadrupled his totals from the past three seasons combined and also contributed to the Maple City Magic's 2nd consecutive Hometown Cup title. In their American League Division Series win over the County Line Kings, Friedman homered in both games as he figures to play a key role for the Magic as they look to win their 5th consecutive ORWBL World Series title.
Moving on to the National League it was Union Mills star left fielder Josh Trim who received the most votes with 27 while receiving 5 first place votes. It has been a big week for Trim as he takes home his 2nd award as he won the National League Gold Glove Award yesterday. Trim has had quite the start to his career as he also won the 2020 National League Rookie of the Year Award last season.
In 2020, Trim played 22 games as he sported a .324 Batting Average, going 33/102 with 11 HR 19 RBI and 19 Runs. In 2021, he took massive leaps across the board with his Batting Average jumping up to .467 as he went 84/180 with 58 HR, 77 RBI, and 69 Runs in 30 games.
His 58 HR and 77 RBI led all National League Players in that category as he put up legitimate MVP numbers for Union Mills this season. Trim played a vital role for the Goon Squad as they put together their best season in team history as they finished 2021 with a 12-18 record after going 5-19 in each of their first two seasons. Union Mills suffered a tight loss in the National League play-in game at the hands of the Lynn Street Leprechauns but there is no doubt that Josh Trim left his mark on the Wiffleball scene here in 2021.
Trim's talent was showcased for the entire league to see as he represented the Goon Squad in the Home Run Derby and ORWBL All Star Game. He made it to the 2nd Round of the Derby and also scored a run in the All Star Game on a night where runs were tough to come by.
Tomorrow, awards week continues as we will announce the American and National League Manager of the Year Award winners. Here is the full list of players to have received a vote for the Comeback Player of the Year Award. All of the Managers ballots will be made public once all award are handed out.
American League Comeback Player of the Year Award:
Alex Friedman: 33 votes (Magic)
Andrew Karsten: 19 votes (Pink Pandas)
Keigan White: 9 votes (Billy Goats)
Zach Christy: 7 votes (Pink Pandas)
Luke Stanisci: 7 votes (Wildcards)
Drew Luther: 4 votes (Magic)
Brandon Terry: 4 votes (Cyclones)
Evan Walters: 3 votes (Pink Pandas)
Jake Macmillan: 3 votes (Heat)
Tyler Shupert: 2 votes (Wildcards)
Caleb Jonkman: 2 votes (Magic)
Allen Amendt: 2 votes (Wildcards)
DJ Hill: 1 vote (Wildcards)
National League Comeback Player of the Year Award:
Josh Trim: 27 votes (Goon Squad)
Chaz Boyd: 10 votes (Godfathers)
Peyton Doran: 7 votes (Skeeters)
Cadin McCarty: 7 votes (Goon Squad)
Matt Soos: 6 votes (Newts)
Jake Osburn: 6 votes (Goon Squad)
Andy Sieradzki: 5 votes (Godfathers)
Austin Traxler: 4 votes (Leprechauns)
Sean Touhey: 4 votes (Newts)
Cam Bashaw: 3 votes (Goon Squad)
Joey Schuster: 3 votes (Meatspins)
Zach Brassell: 2 votes (Leprechauns)
Jeremy Ratajczyk: 2 votes (Truffle Butter)
Noah Shail: 2 votes (Newts)
Kade Stone: 2 votes (Skeeters)
Koby Keck: 1 vote (Newts)
Erick Woodrich: 1 vote (Meatspins)
Jordan Peck: 1 vote (Leprechauns)
Nick Fritz: 1 vote (Godfathers)
Brandon Campbell: 1 vote (Panthers)