On December 10, Major League Baseball issued the last awards of the season with the Comeback Player of the Year Awards.

In the American League Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez returned to the game after missing the entire 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, three weeks due to blurred vision, and a positive Covid-19 test.

Despite a shortened season to just 60 games and all of his medical issues, Perez had a career high batting average of .333 with a .633 slugging percentage, eleven homers, and 32 RBI’s…all in only 37 games.

Upon winning the award, Perez said, “this This award is about hard work and gratitude to all the people who helped to get me back on the field.  I want to thank my family first for all the support they give me, and the training staff.”

In the National League, Colorado Rockies pitcher Daniel Bard returned to the Major Leagues after taking off for six years while dealing with injury and mechanical issues.  After retiring from the game in 2017, Bard decided to give it one more try this year.

Bard spoke on his winning the COPY saying, “it’s more than I ever anticipated when I made the decision to play again. It was not an easy decision being retired two years and really having moved on to a different career.  It’s something my wife and I talked about, and she supported me in it. I knew I was throwing the ball well, but I was hoping to get one more game in the big leagues — one more pitch — and it turned out to be a lot more than that. So I’m just extremely grateful.”

Bard continued, “it was just the ability to let go and have fun again. I had put so much pressure on myself to get back to that high level that I had pitched at.  I think I had to retire. I retired for two years, and I think that was the only thing that allowed me to move on in my own mind and just have the freedom to have fun on the field and throw the baseball the way I’m capable of.”

After earning a shutout win in his Rockies debut on opening day, Bard went on to hold the opposition scoreless in 14 of his 23 starts, earn a record of 4 and 2 with six saves and an ERA of 3.65.

The winners of the COPY award are selected from a field of 30 nominees – one from each Major League club.