List of Major League Baseball awards


List of Major League Baseball awards
A silver plaque with gold decoration mounted on a black backing. Its inscription includes "Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award", "Most Valuable Player – American League", and the player's name and team.
The Most Valuable Player Award is the oldest of Major League Baseball's current awards.

Major League Baseball presents a variety of annual awards and trophies to recognize both its teams and its players. Three team trophies are awarded annually: one each to the National League and American League champions, and one of the champion of the World Series. Additionally, various organizations—such as the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, and select corporate sponsors—present awards for such accomplishments as excellence in batting, pitching performance, fielding prowess, and community service.[1][2]

The Most Valuable Player Award, commonly known as the "MVP", is the oldest individual award, given in its current format since 1931.[1] MVP awards are also presented for performances in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the League Championship Series, and the World Series.[1] Offensive awards include the Silver Slugger Award and the Hank Aaron Award, while the Cy Young Award and Rolaids Relief Man Award recognize pitching; the Rawlings Gold Glove Award is given for fielding. The DHL Delivery Man and Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Awards are the newest awards, both established in 2005.[3][4] Additionally, the Commissioner, at his discretion, can present an Historic Achievement Award for any great contribution to the sport that he deems worthy.

As of the end of the 2009 season, the New York Yankees, having won the 2009 World Series, and members of their team held twelve awards in the American League, the most in Major League Baseball. Besides the William Harridge Trophy and the Commissioner's Trophy, five team members have also won an award for their 2009 regular season and postseason performances. In the National League, the leaders are the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies; each team holds six awards.

Contents

Team awards

Commissioner's Trophy

A silver and gold trophy with 30 flags sits on a red table
Commissioner's Trophy from the 2004 World Series

The Commissioner's Trophy is presented each year by the Commissioner of Baseball to the Major League Baseball team that wins the World Series. The World Series is played between the champion clubs of the American League and the National League. The "modern" World Series has been played every year since 1903 with the exception of 1904, which was cancelled when the NL champion New York Giants declined to play the AL champion Boston Americans,[5] and 1994, which was cancelled due to the players' strike.[6]

Baseball has employed various championship formulas since the 1860s. When the term "World Series" is used by itself, it is usually understood to refer to the "modern" World Series exclusively.[7] The World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff. Best-of-seven has been the format of nearly all of the modern World Series. In addition to the Commissioner's Trophy, each player on the winning team receives an individual World Series ring. The Commissioner's Trophy has been awarded to the Series winner since 1967.[8]

Recent trophy designs contain flags representing each team in each league.[9] It is the only championship trophy of the four major sports in the United States that is not named after a particular person[10] (contrasting with the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup,[11] the National Football League's Vince Lombardi Trophy,[12] and the National Basketball Association's Larry O'Brien Trophy).[13] The current holders of the trophy are the Saint Louis Cardinals of the National League, who won the 2011 World Series.

Warren C. Giles Trophy

The Warren C. Giles Trophy is presented annually to the champion of the National League.[14] Named for Warren Giles, who was league president from 1951 to 1969, the award is passed from champion to champion, rather than a new trophy being created each season. Warren's son Bill Giles, the honorary league president and owner of the Philadelphia Phillies, presents the trophy to the National League champion at the conclusion of each National League Championship Series.[14] The Saint Louis Cardinals, as the 2011 National League champions, are the current holders of the Giles Trophy.

William Harridge Trophy

The William Harridge Trophy is the American League's counterpart to the Giles Trophy, and is presented each year to the American League champion.[15] The trophy features a golden eagle, the league's emblem, sitting atop a silver baseball and clutching the American League banner.[16] The trophy is named for Will Harridge, who was league president from 1931 to 1958.[17] The Texas Rangers are the current holders of the Harridge Trophy, in honor of their 2011 American League championship.[18] Unlike its National League counterpart, a new trophy is awarded each year.

Individual awards

Most Valuable Player

The Most Valuable Player Award (commonly known as the MVP) is an annual award given to one outstanding player in each league of Major League Baseball. The MVP originated in 1910 as the Chalmers Award, sponsored by the Chalmers Automobile Company. Chalmers presented the award until 1914.[19] The National and American Leagues presented their own "League Awards" from 1922 to 1929,[20] after which the BBWAA began to present an unofficial award. Since 1931, it has been officially presented by the BBWAA. The current holders of the award are Joey Votto of the National League's Cincinnati Reds and Josh Hamilton of the American League's Texas Rangers.[21]

Cy Young

A metal hand grips a metal baseball on a black plaque; the inscription reads "Presented to Sandy Koufax; Most Valuable Pitcher, National League, 1953".
The Cy Young Award

The Cy Young Award is an honor given annually in baseball to the best pitchers in Major League Baseball, one each for the American and National Leagues. The award was first introduced in 1956 by Commissioner Ford Frick in honor of Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young, who died in 1955. The award was originally given to the single best pitcher in the major leagues, but after Frick's retirement in 1967, the award was given to one pitcher in each league.[22] Each league's award is voted on by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, with two representatives from each team, which means 28 ballots are cast for the American League winner, and 32 ballots are cast for the National League.[23] The 2011 winners of this award include Justin Verlander, who won with the American League's Detroit Tigers, and the National League winner was Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rookie of the Year

The Rookie of the Year Award is given annually to one player from each league, as voted upon by the BBWAA. The award was established in 1940 by the Chicago chapter of the BBWAA who alone selected a rookie of the year.[24] Starting in 1947, all members of the national BBWAA organization voted. Jackie Robinson was awarded the first official Rookie of the Year award.[25] The award was originally known as the J. Louis Comiskey Memorial Award, after the Chicago White Sox owner of the 1930s. In 1987, it was re-named the Jackie Robinson Award, in honor of the 40th year since Robinson broke the baseball color line. Only two players, both in the American League, have been named Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same year: Fred Lynn in 1975 and Ichiro Suzuki in 2001. The only Rookie of the Year to win the Cy Young Award in the same year was Fernando Valenzuela in 1981. In 1947 and 1948, only one award was given to a single player. Since 1949, the honor has been given to one player in each league.[26] The 2011 Rookies of the Year are Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves and Jeremy Hellickson of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Manager of the Year

The Manager of the Year Award is an honor given annually since 1983 to the best managers in the American and National Leagues. The winner is voted on by 28 members of the BBWAA. Each places a vote for first, second, and third place among the managers of each league.[a] The manager with the highest score in each league wins the award.[27] In 1991, Bobby Cox became the first manager to win the award in both leagues, winning with the Atlanta Braves and having previously won with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1985.[28] Tony La Russa, Lou Piniella, and Jim Leyland have since won the award in both leagues.[29][30][31] Joe Girardi is the only manager to win the award with a fourth-place team (2006 Florida Marlins);[32] he is also the only manager to win the award after fielding a team with a losing record.[33][34] The 2011 Managers of the Year are the Tampa Bay Rays' Joe Maddon and the Arizona Diamondbacks' Kirk Gibson.

Gold Glove

A trophy sits on a green table topped by a golden baseball glove flanked by two golden baseballs.
The Gold Glove Award

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National and American Leagues, as voted by the managers and coaches in each league.[35] Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players.[35] Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985 and 2007), one at each of the nine positions in each league. The phrase "at each position" is not strictly accurate; the prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three center fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. Critics have called for awarding a single Gold Glove for each individual outfield position, arguing that the three outfield positions are not equivalent defensively.[36]

Current holders

  1B 2B 3B SS OF OF OF C P
AL Adrian Gonzalez Dustin Pedroia Adrián Beltré Erick Aybar Alex Gordon Jacoby Ellsbury Nick Markakis Matt Wieters Mark Buehrle
NL Joey Votto Brandon Phillips Plácido Polanco Troy Tulowitzki Gerardo Parra Matt Kemp Andre Ethier Yadier Molina Clayton Kershaw

Silver Slugger

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo holds Ryan Zimmerman's Silver Slugger Award.

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by Major League Baseball's coaches and managers. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value".[37] As with the Gold Glove, the prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position.[38][39] Additionally, only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award;[39] lineups in the American League include the designated hitter, who replaces the pitcher in the batting order,[40] so the designated hitter receives the award instead.[38]

Current holders

  1B 2B 3B SS OF OF OF C P DH
AL Adrian Gonzalez Robinson Canó Adrián Beltré Asdrúbal Cabrera Curtis Granderson Jacoby Ellsbury José Bautista Alex Avila
David Ortiz
NL Prince Fielder Brandon Phillips Aramis Ramírez Troy Tulowitzki Ryan Braun Matt Kemp Justin Upton Brian McCann Daniel Hudson

Hank Aaron

The Hank Aaron Award is given annually to the Major League Baseball players selected as the top hitter in each league, as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media. It was introduced in 1999 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Hank Aaron surpassing Babe Ruth's 714 career home runs. The award was the first major award to be introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.[41] Each team's radio and television play-by-play broadcasters and color analysts vote for three players in each league. Their first place vote receives five points, the second place vote receives three points, and the third place vote receives one point. Beginning in 2003, fans were given the opportunity to vote via Major League Baseball's website. Fans' votes account for 30% of the points, while broadcasters' and analysts' votes account for the other 70%.[42] The 2011 winners of the Hank Aaron Award are Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers and José Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Rolaids Relief Man

The Rolaids Relief Man Award is an annual award given since the 1976 season to the top relief pitchers of the regular season, one each in the American and National Leagues. Relief pitchers enter the game after the starting pitcher is removed. Because the first closers were nicknamed "firemen," a reference to "putting out the fire" of another team's rally,[43] the trophy is a gold-plated firefighter's helmet. The Relief Man of the Year is based on statistical performance, rather than votes. Each save is worth three points; a win, two points; a loss, negative two points; and a blown save, negative two points. A "tough save", which is worth an additional point, occurs when a relief pitcher enters the game and gets the save with the tying run already on base. The 2011 award winners are José Valverde of the Detroit Tigers in the American League, and John Axford of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League.

Comeback Player of the Year

The Comeback Player of the Year Award is presented by MLB to the player who is judged to have "re-emerged on the baseball field during a given season."[4] The award was developed in 2005, as part of a sponsorship agreement between MLB and Viagra.[4] In 2005 and 2006 representatives from MLB and MLB.com selected six candidates each from the AL and NL and one winner for each league was selected via an online poll on MLB.com.[4][44] Since then, the winners have been selected by a panel of MLB beat reporters.[45][46] Under the current voting structure, first-place votes are worth five points, second-place votes worth three, and third-place votes worth one, with the award going to the player with the most overall points.[47] The 2011 winners are Lance Berkman from the NL and Jacoby Ellsbury from the AL.

World Series MVP

The World Series MVP Award is given to the player who most contributes to his team's success in the final round of the Major League Baseball post-season. The award was originally given by the editors of Sport magazine, but is now decided by a combination of media members and Major League Baseball officials.[48] The current holder is David Freese, who batted .348 with one home run and seven runs batted in during the 2011 World Series.

League Championship Series MVP

The second round of the Major League Baseball post-season is known as the League Championship Series. This series has a best-of-seven playoff format, and currently follows the Division Series,[49] in which the three division champions and one wild card team from each league play against each other based on their regular-season records.[a] The winners of the National League Championship Series and the American League Championship Series advance to the World Series. The current holders are David Freese in the National League and Nelson Cruz in the American League.

All-Star Game MVP

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award is an annual Major League Baseball (MLB) award given to the most outstanding player in each year's MLB All-Star Game. Awarded each season since 1962, it was originally called the "Arch Ward Memorial Award" in honor of Arch Ward, the man who conceived the All-Star Game. The award's name was changed to the "Commissioner's Trophy" in 1970, but this name change was reversed in 1985 when the World Series Trophy was renamed the Commissioner's Trophy. Finally, the trophy was renamed the "Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award" in 2002, in honor of former Boston Red Sox player Ted Williams, who had died earlier that year.[50] No award was presented for the 2002 All-Star Game, which ended in a tie.[51] Thus, the Anaheim Angels' Garret Anderson was the first recipient of the newly named Ted Williams Award in 2003. Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers is the most recent winner.[52]

Roberto Clemente

The Roberto Clemente Award is given annually to the player in Major League Baseball who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team", as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media. It is named for Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente. Originally known as the Commissioner's Award, it has been presented by Major League Baseball since 1971. In 1973, the award was renamed after Clemente following his death in a plane crash while delivering supplies to victims of the 1972 Nicaragua earthquake.[53] Each year, a panel of baseball dignitaries selects 1 player from 30 nominees, one from each club. Teams choose their nominee during the regular season, and the winner is announced at the World Series.[53] The player who receives the most votes online via MLB's official website, MLB.com, gets one vote in addition to the votes cast by the panel.[53] David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, is the 2011 winner and current holder of the award.

MLB Delivery Man

The Major League Baseball Delivery Man Award is presented by Major League Baseball to the best relief pitcher in the league. The award was developed in 2005, as part of a sponsorship agreement between Major League Baseball and package delivery company DHL Express.[3] A monthly version of the award is also handed out to relievers during the season. The annual award ("DHL presents the Delivery Man of the Year") is voted upon by fans,[54] while the monthly edition ("DHL presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month") is decided by a four-man panel of baseball experts and commentators.[55] The 2011 recipient of the annual award was Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde.

Other awards

A golden baseball sitting atop a silver pedestal
The Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award

Commissioner's Historic Achievement

The Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award is presented by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball to a group or individual who has made a "major impact on the sport" of baseball.[56] The award consists of a trophy: a gold baseball sitting atop a silver trophy base.[57] The award has been presented eleven times by Commissioner Bud Selig: nine times to players, once to a team, and once to a non-player. The award is most often presented for breaking a Major League Baseball record; it has been presented three times to players who broke the single-season home run record (Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds). Other record-breakers to receive the award include Ichiro Suzuki (hits in a single season), Cal Ripken, Jr. (consecutive games played), and Rickey Henderson (career stolen bases and career runs scored).[58] The most recent recipient is Ken Griffey, Jr. (2011).[59]

See also

References

Inline citations
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