Chris Carpenter, a former American Legion Baseball Graduate of the Year, is the National League recipient of Major League Baseball’s Comeback Player of the Year Award. The St. Louis Cardinals pitcher was recognized for his 17-4 win/loss record and a 2.24 earned run average – lowest in the National League. He played Legion ball for Post 79 in Manchester, N.H.
The Comeback Player of the Year Award is presented annually to a player from each league who has re-emerged from setbacks or statistical slumps. Carpenter, 34, has undergone two major surgeries (including the risky “Tommy John” elbow operation) in the past two years. He pitched in only 23 games during those two seasons, but reinvigorated his career in 2009, tossing three complete games and holding opposing hitters to a .226 batting average.
Carpenter was named the American Legion Baseball Graduate of the Year in 2007. The award is presented annually to a Major League Baseball player and Legion baseball alumnus who represents values and qualities upheld by the Legion.