Hamilton dethroned Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols from the top spot in the voting. Pujols won the award in 2008 and '09.
"What a great story Josh was this season," Pujols said in a statement announcing the awards. "He was a guy I always knew had the talent. There aren't many guys who can steal 30 to 40 bags, get you 40 home runs, hit .350 and have a plus, plus arm. Those guys are tough to find, but he is one of them."
Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez was also honored by the publication as its AL Pitcher of the Year, while Phillies ace Roy Halladay took the pitching distinction in the National League.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was named the AL Manager of the Year, and Padres skipper Bud Black was similarly rewarded in the NL.
Two rookie outfielders were rewarded for their fine freshman seasons. Detroit's Austin Jackson was named the AL Rookie of the Year, and Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward was named the NL Rookie of the year.
Hamilton's teammate, Vladimir Guerrero, was named the publication's AL Comeback Player of the Year, and Braves hurler Tim Hudson took that honor in the NL.
The Sporting News also announced its 2010 All-Star teams.
Hamilton, Guerrero and Hernandez were named to the AL All-Star team, along with Twins catcher Joe Mauer, Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, Rays left fielder Carl Crawford and Rays closer Rafael Soriano.
Halladay headlined the publication's NL All-Star team. The remainder of the team featured Braves catcher Brian McCann, Padres closer Heath Bell, Reds first baseman Joey Votto, Braves second baseman Martin Prado, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday and Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun.