N.L. Rookie of the Year has a Blue Tinge

The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds won five of six places on the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year charts, with catcher Geovany Soto of Chicago winning the honor. No Dodger received even a single vote. He gave veteran Henry Blanco, who began his pro career in 1990, an assist for his performance.

Geovany Soto was the National League winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award, but he gave credit to a 37-year-old former Dodger who began his career when the Cubs catcher was just 7.

"I wouldn't be doing the things I did this year if it wasn't for Henry Blanco," Soto said of the Cubs' backup catcher. "He helped me a lot and talked to me every single day, all day. He treated me like a small brother. It felt good to have a veteran guy help me the way he did on catching and game calling. He was huge for me this year. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be doing the things I was doing this year."

Blanco was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent in the fall of 1989 and was in their minor league system until he was granted free agency in 1998. Blanco was converted from a fine fielding-no hit third baseman to a catcher while with Los Angeles. He played one game at third and one behind the plate in 1997 (hitting .400 - 2-for-5) before being signed as a free agent by the Colorado Rockies. He also played with Milwaukee and Atlanta before settling in with the Cubs in 2005.

Soto received 31 out of 32 first-place votes by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Soto was second on one ballot, with Cincinnati's Joey Votto receiving the other first-place vote.

Soto batted .285 with 23 homers and 86 RBIs in his freshman season and is the first catcher to win the league honor since Mike Piazza did so 15 years ago. The Cubs backstop was the only player named on all ballots. Teammate Kosuke Fukudome received one second-place and one third-place vote.

Cincinnati's Jerry Voto (second), Edinson Volquez (fourth) and Jay Bruce (fifth) took three of the six slots and only Jair Jurrjens of Atlanta broke up the Chicago-Cincinnatti stranglehold on the voting charts.
 
 2008 Rookie of the Year voting

 Player, team	        1st	2nd	3rd	totals
Geovany Soto, Chic	31	 1	 0	158
Joey Votto, Cin	         1   	21	 8	 76
Jair Jurrjens, Atl	 0	 6	16	 34
Edinson Volquez, Cin	 0	 3	 0 	  9
Jay Bruce, Cin	         0	 0	 7	  7
Kosuke Fukudome Chic	 0	 0	 0	  1

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