The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs (ALPB) yesterday announced the league’s Player of the Year, Steve Lombardozzi, Jr.
“This is an incredible honor, and I’m both humbled and grateful to receive this,” Lombardozzi said on LIDucks.com. “It’s never been my focus to win the MVP. My goal has always been to do whatever it takes to help my team win each and every day, so to be rewarded like this is pretty special. I have gone through a lot in my career, many ups and downs, but all of the hard work, training, and preparation going into this season and then performing the way I did has been very rewarding on a personal level.
“A lot of people attributed to my success this year,” he continued. “I want to thank Wally (Backman), Lew (Ford), and my teammates. We had a special group of guys this year. We came together as a family and it was a blast playing together. I also want to thank my Mom and Dad, as they have always been there for me and made me into the man I am today. And most importantly, I want to thank my wife, Brooke. She encouraged me and was behind me 100 percent to go out and play this year, and as I was playing, she was back home raising our little boy and baby girl all on her own. When they could make it to close games, she drove to be there so we could all be together as a family. I’m truly grateful. Thank you.”
Lombardozzi, who played mostly second base while also seeing time at third base and shortstop for the Long Island Ducks, finished among league leaders in batting average (.329, 7th), on-base percentage (.440, T-5th), hits (143, T-2nd), stolen bases (20, 8th), runs (99, 4th), RBI (83, 8th), and doubles (24, 10th).
Additionally, the former Washington National displayed a spectacular glove, committing just four errors all season long, the fewest among all qualifying infielders in the ALPB, and posted a .992 fielding percentage.
ALPB also named on Wednesday that Southern Maryland Blue Crabs starting pitcher Daryl Thompson had been named the Atlantic League’s Pitcher of the Year for a second consecutive season. The right-hander finished the year with a league-best 16 wins against only three losses and also lead the league in ERA (3.20), WHIP (1.12), complete games (4) and innings pitched (169.0).
“Congratulations to Steve and Daryl – both are incredible athletes,” said Rick White, Atlantic League President. “Both players enjoyed remarkable seasons and richly deserve this honor.”
— Jerry Del Priore