Rollins, Bonds Named Tribune Persons Of The Year

By Chris Murray
Updated: January 3, 2008

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Tribune, the nation’s oldest and continuously publishing African-American newspaper, named Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and former San Francisco Giants outfielder and All-time MLB homerun king Barry Bonds as its local and national Sports Persons of the Year.

Rollins, the 2007 National League MVP, was selected by the Tribune as its Philadelphia Sports Person of the Year. Rollins had an outstanding year on the field batting .296 with 30 homeruns, 94 runs batted in, and 41 stolen bases.

Off the field, Rollins was very active in the Philadelphia community through his fund raising efforts for a number of local charities. Recently, he donated computers to a mostly African-American high school in North Philadelphia.

During his press conference after winning the MVP award last month, Rollins said he hoped his award would bring more African-American kids into baseball.

“The one thing that comes from this, I really hope that they’re Black kids right now looking at TV and saying ‘I wanna be an MVP one day in baseball,” Rollins said.

“Not necessarily the next Jimmy Rollins or Ryan Howard, but they want to be an MVP and hopefully start playing baseball because the numbers are getting low and it would nice to see those numbers get up. MLB is doing a good job trying to help that. Hopefully, (African-American kids) looking at guys like Ryan Howard and myself will help out.”

Meanwhile, Bonds was the Tribune’s National Sports Person of the Year because of his controversial chase for Hank Aaron’s home run record under the suspicion that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Whether you love him or hate him, Bonds chase for Aaron caused division among fans and sports journalists alike.

//<![CDATA[ u003cbr>Bonds, who was indicted for perjury by a federal grand jury earlier this month, was followed by throngs of reporters everywhere he went , he was the hot-button subject of talk shows and columns. His 756th home run ball even generated headlines when fashion designer Mark Ecko offered to donate the ball to the Baseball Hall of Fame with an asterisk painted on it. As a newsmaker, Bonds was one of the most compelling stories of the 2007 sports season. u003cbr>nnu003c/div>u003cbr>u003cbr>Chris Murray u003cbr>Sports Writer u003cbr>Philadelphia Tribune u003cbr>215-893-5790u003cdiv>u003cbr>u003c/div>u003c/div>u003c/div>”,0] ); D(["ce"]); //–> //]]> Bonds, who was indicted for perjury by a federal grand jury earlier this month, was followed by throngs of reporters everywhere he went , he was the hot-button subject of talk shows and columns.

His 756th home run ball even generated headlines when fashion designer Mark Ecko offered to donate the ball to the Baseball Hall of Fame with an asterisk painted on it.

As a newsmaker, Bonds was one of the most compelling stories of the 2007 sports season.