Comeback Player of the Year Award
The Comeback Player of the Year Award was awarded by The Sporting News every season from 1965 to 2006, with one award given in each league every season. The award was created for a player who was once a star, but had to come back from either injury or ineffectiveness to reclaim his status. The criteria for the award are not well defined, and the choices have sometimes been criticized for either never having been star players in the first instance, or not having come back from a noticeable decline in their performance. An example of the first instance is Randy Jones, who won the award after his first good season in 1975, and who was never, by any stretch of the imagination, considered a star beforehand. In the second case, Richie Zisk won the award in 1981 for a performance that was not noticeably better than his previous seasons, especially when context is taken into account.
There is nothing that prevents a player form winning the award multiple times, and indeed this has been done by Norm Cash, Boog Powell, Bret Saberhagen, Andres Galarraga and Chris Carpenter. Rick Sutcliffe and Francisco Liriano have won the award in both leagues.
In 2005, Major League Baseball started awarding its own Comeback Player of the Year Awards, which quickly eclipsed those granted by The Sporting News (which were discontinued a year later). The winners of the two sets of Comeback awards were the same during the two seasons when both were in effect, 2005 and 2006.
The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award
Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award
- Rick Swaine: Baseball’s Comeback Players: Forty Major Leaguers Who Fell and Rose Again, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2014. ISBN 978-0-7864-7654-1