Former Cal State Long Beach baseball standout Jason Giambi has been named the American League's Most Valuable Player for his role in carrying the Oakland Athletics to the playoffs during the 2000 season.
In balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Giambi received 14 of the 28 first-place votes to finish with 317 points, narrowly defeating two-time MVP Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox. Giambi also got 11 second-place votes, two thirds and one fifth.
Thomas rebounded from his worst season as a pro to place second in the MVP balloting with 285 points and 10 first-place votes. Seattle shortstop Alex Rodriguez got the other four first-place votes and finished third with 218 points.
"It's a tremendous honor for our baseball program and for the university," says CSULB baseball coach Dave Snow, who coached Giambi from 1990 to 1992. "His growth and development as a player serves as an inspiration to our current players. We are very proud of his accomplishment."
During his three years at CSULB, Giambi was a three-time all-Big West selection. In 1991, he was named to the All-College World Series Team, and in 1992, he was a member of the U.S. Olympic baseball team.
He hit .397 in three seasons as a 'Dirtbag,' including .422 his first year to earn Big West Freshman-of-the-Year honors in 1990. He is among the 49ers top five career lists in batting average, hits (208), total bases (299) RBI (125) and walks (116).
"I'll always have a special place for Long Beach," Giambi told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. "Dave Snow let me try out, said he wanted me and gave me a partial scholarship even though I didn't have a single other college offer. He was the guy who started helping me develop my hitting and polishing my skills."
As the leader of the young Oakland team, Giambi spearheaded the team's run to the American League West title by hitting .396 with 13 homers and 32 RBI in the final month of the regular season. He wasn't that shabby the rest of the year, either.
He finished the season with a .333 batting average, 43 homers, 137 RBI and 137 walks. He led the American League with a .476 on-base percentage and was third with a .647 slugging percentage.
| Public Affairs Offices/Campus News
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