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Local writers honor Williams


© St. Petersburg Times, published October 2, 2000

ST. PETERSBURG -- Gerald Williams may not have the most impressive statistics on the Devil Rays, but he was named their most valuable player Sunday by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Williams set career highs with 21 home runs and 89 RBI in his first season with the Rays, generating offense from the leadoff spot and playing exciting defense in centerfield.

He finished first in balloting of the newspaper and wire service writers who cover the team on a regular basis, with pitcher Albie Lopez second and outfielder/DH Greg Vaughn third.

BBWAA members voted first baseman/outfielder Steve Cox the team's outstanding rookie, with Aubrey Huff second.

Vaughn was selected winner of the Champion Award, given to the player "who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field."

Last season, Roberto Hernandez was voted MVP, Ryan Rupe the outstanding rookie and John Flaherty the Champion award. The 1998 winners were Quinton McCracken (MVP), Rolando Arrojo (outstanding rookie) and Flaherty (Champion).

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