|Category of ESPY Award||First awarded 1993|
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Winners & Nominees Eric Berry, Eric Berry, Winner, Rob Gronkowski, Rob Gronkowski, Winner, Alex Rodriguez, Alex Rodriguez, Nominee, Derrick Rose, Derrick Rose, Nominee, Lindsey Vonn, Lindsey Vonn, Nominee, Russell Westbrook, Russell Westbrook, Winner, Josh Beckett, Josh Beckett, Nominee, Sidney Crosby, Sidney Crosby, Nominee, Dominic Moore, Dominic Moore, Nominee, Adrian Peterson, Adrian Peterson, Winner, Peyton Manning, Peyton Manning, Nominee, Buster Posey, Buster Posey, Nominee, Mariano Rivera, Mariano Rivera, Nominee, Matthew Stafford, Matthew Stafford, Winner, Johan Santana, Johan Santana, Nominee, Sidney Crosby, Sidney Crosby, Nominee, Maria Sharapova, Maria Sharapova, Nominee
The Best Comeback Athlete ESPY Award has been presented annually since 1993 to the sportsperson, irrespective of gender, contesting a team sport professionally under the auspices of one of the four North American leagues or an individual sport on either an amateur or professional basis primarily in the United States or internationally under the auspices of an sport governing body adjudged to have made the most significant, profound, or impressive comeback from serious illness, injury, personal or familial hardship, retirement, or significant loss of form.
Between 1993 and 2004, the award voting panel comprised variously fans; sportswriters and broadcasters, sports executives, and retired sportspersons, termed collectively experts; and ESPN personalities, but balloting thereafter has been exclusively by fans over the Internet from amongst choices selected by the ESPN Select Nominating Committee.
Through the 2001 iteration of the ESPY Awards, ceremonies were conducted in February of each year to honor achievements over the previous calendar year; awards presented thereafter are conferred in June and reflect performance from the June previous.