Giambi among top comeback stories

Originally Published: August 31, 2005
By Gary Gillette | ESPN Insider
For the first time, Major League Baseball is presenting an official Comeback Player of the Year Award, sponsored by Viagra. While several different comeback player awards have been given out over the years, it's a cinch that this year's will get far more attention because of its sponsor. In a unique format, six players were nominated midseason as being eligible for the new award.

American League

Jason Giambi Jason Giambi, Yankees
Not only is "The Giambino" in the midst of a remarkable comeback from his disastrous 2004 season, when his batting numbers were all career lows by large margins, but he's also returned from his early-season disgrace. Turning raucous booing into rousing cheering -- at least at Yankee Stadium -- Giambi's about-face has been almost as miraculous as it has been well-chronicled.

With four more home runs in the past two days, Giambi now has 25 this season after hitting only five in the first three months. Though he started to come around in June, hitting .310 with a .474 on-base average, the left-handed slugger really caught fire in July: 14 homers, 24 RBI, .355 BA, and an eye-popping .524 OBP and .974 SLG. Needless to say, Giambi's turnaround has been critical as the Yankees pursue the Red Sox in another tumultuous season in the Bronx.

Gary Gillette | email MLB insider contributor
Gary Gillette, a contributor to MLB Insider on, is the editor of the 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, which was published in March by Sterling. Gary can be reached via e-mail at