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News

2012 GIBBYs Awards

MLB's A-listers won 2012 GIBBY trophies -- the ultimate honors of baseball's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, you the fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.

Choose among the categories below to view results in all 21 categories, and find out which stars and Must C highlights were voted the best of 2012.
  • MLB MVP Nominees

    The game's top overall stars
  • Winner
    Miguel Cabrera, 3B
    .330 AVG, 44 HR, 139 RBIs, 109 R, .999 OPS

    Cabrera mashed his way onto an extremely exclusive list, capturing baseball's first Triple Crown in 45 seasons while becoming the first Tigers player to win consecutive batting titles since Ty Cobb.

    42.2%
  • Mike Trout, CF
    .326 AVG, 30 HR, 83 RBIs, 129 R, 49 SB, .963 OPS

    Despite spending most of April in Triple-A, this jaw-dropping defensive wizard was the first in Major League history to hit at least .320 with 30 homers and 45 steals during a single season.

    29.7%
  • Buster Posey, C
    .336 AVG, 24 HR, 103 RBIs, 78 R, .957 OPS

    The big league batting champion from behind the plate, Posey posted an impressive homer tally and became just the fifth catcher with a 100-RBI season since 2000.

    16.1%
  • Andrew McCutchen, CF
    .327 AVG, 31 HR, 96 RBIs, 107 R, 20 SB, .953 OPS

    The center fielder displayed a sensational skill set, slugging homers, stealing bases and scoring runs while also posting the Senior Circuit's second-highest average and patrolling an important defensive position.

    7.9%
  • Ryan Braun, LF
    .319 AVG, 41 HR, 112 RBIs, 108 R, 30 SB, .987 OPS

    Braun excelled both at bat and on the bases, becoming just the second player since the turn of the 21st century with at least 40 homers and 30 steals in a single season.

    4.1%
  • Hitter of the Year Nominees

    The game's top sluggers
    View past winners
    Hitter of the Year

    2011 Matt Kemp
    2010 Josh Hamilton
    2009 Joe Mauer
    2008 Albert Pujols
    2007 Alex Rodriguez
    2006 Derek Jeter
    2005 David Ortiz
    2004 David Ortiz
    2003 Albert Pujols
    2002 Alex Rodriguez
  • Winner
    Miguel Cabrera, 3B
    .330 AVG, 44 HR, 139 RBIs, 109 R, .999 OPS

    Cabrera officially stamped his legacy in the annals of baseball lore by securing the sport's first Triple Crown since 1967 and leading both leagues with 84 extra-base hits and 377 total bases.

    50.1%
  • Ryan Braun, LF
    .319 AVG, 41 HR, 112 RBIs, 108 R, 30 SB, .987 OPS

    After winning the 2011 NL MVP, Braun in 2012 became the first hitter outside of Colorado to hit .319 or better with at least 40 home runs and 30 steals since Hank Aaron in 1963.

    12.4%
  • Mike Trout, CF
    .326 AVG, 30 HR, 83 RBIs, 129 R, 49 SB, .963 OPS

    The only first-year player in history with a 30-homer, 40-steal season, Trout finished three runs shy of Joe DiMaggio's AL rookie runs record and completed the 2012 campaign with the Junior Circuit's second-best batting average.

    12.1%
  • Buster Posey, C
    .336 AVG, 24 HR, 103 RBIs, 78 R, .957 OPS

    Posey posted the Major Leagues' best batting average, led all catchers in RBIs, doubles (39) and on-base plus slugging percentage and paced NL backstops in runs scored.

    11.0%
  • Josh Hamilton, OF
    .285 AVG, 43 HR, 128 RBIs, 103 R, .930 OPS

    Only one Major Leaguer recorded more homers and RBIs than Hamilton, a prolific run producer who led the sport with a .292 isolated-power percentage.

    5.2%
  • Robinson Cano, 2B
    .313 AVG, 33 HR, 94 RBIs, 105 R, .929 OPS

    Among middle infielders, Cano led in homers and RBIs, tied for first in runs scored and finished behind double-play partner Derek Jeter in batting average.

    4.9%
  • Andrew McCutchen, CF
    .327 AVG, 31 HR, 96 RBIs, 107 R, 20 SB, .953 OPS

    The Senior Circuit's second-leading hitter excelled from the batter's box to the basepaths, finishing the season as just one of three big leaguers with at least 30 long balls and 20 steals.

    4.2%
  • Starting Pitcher of the Year Nominees

    Baseball's best rotation arms
    View past winners
    Starting Pitcher of the Year

    2011 Justin Verlander
    2010 Roy Halladay
    2009 Zack Greinke
    2008 Tim Lincecum
    2007 Josh Beckett
    2006 Chien-Ming Wang
    2005 Chris Carpenter
    2004 Johan Santana
    2003 Mark Prior
  • Winner
    R.A. Dickey
    20-6, 2.73 ERA, 230 K's, 1.05 WHIP

    To fan more than four batters per walk would be a feat for any pitcher, particularly a knuckleball specialist such as Dickey, who did so this season while setting the NL pace in whiffs and posting the Senior Circuit's second-lowest ERA.

    20.3%
  • David Price
    20-5, 2.56 ERA, 205 K's, 1.10 WHIP

    The ace of the sport's stingiest pitching staff, Price tied for the AL lead in wins and tallied its lowest ERA and more than 200 K's.

    17.5%
  • Justin Verlander
    17-8, 2.64 ERA, 239 K's, 1.06 WHIP

    The 2011 AL MVP dominated MLB's leaderboard this past season, striking out more hitters than anyone in the sport while posting his league's second-lowest ERA, WHIP and opponents' average (.217).

    16.7%
  • Felix Hernandez
    13-9, 3.06 ERA, 223 K's, 1.14 WHIP

    King Felix's pinnacle performance was his perfect game, but Seattle's stud hurler reigned supreme all season, making a Majors-leading 17 starts with one or no runs surrendered.

    8.1%
  • Stephen Strasburg
    15-6, 3.16 ERA, 197 K's, 1.15 WHIP

    The young flamethrower thrived while spending all of 2012 in the national spotlight, punching out an outstanding 11.13 hitters per nine innings pitched.

    5.6%
  • Matt Cain
    16-5, 2.79 ERA, 193 K's, 1.04 WHIP

    The NL's All-Star Game starter was scintillating during the 2012 season, orchestrating a perfect-game performance and finishing among the league leaders in shutouts (2), ERA and batting average against (.222).

    5.4%
  • Jered Weaver
    20-5, 2.81 ERA, 142 K's, 1.02 WHIP

    The Angels' ace allowed nary a run in nine of his starts, tossed career no-hitter No. 1 during his inaugural 20-win campaign, and posted the lowest WHIP and batting average against (.214) in the AL.

    5.1%
  • Chris Sale
    17-8, 3.05 ERA, 192 K's, 1.14 WHIP

    The lanky lefty was lights-out for most of the year, making his first career All-Star Game and completing the 2012 campaign as one of the stingiest southpaws in the sport.

    5.0%
  • Clayton Kershaw
    14-9, 2.53 ERA, 229 K's, 1.02 WHIP

    The 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner enjoyed an impressive encore this season, leading the sport in ERA and fewest hits allowed per nine (6.72) after making 24 starts with two or fewer earned runs surrendered.

    4.3%
  • Gio Gonzalez
    21-8, 2.89 ERA, 207 K's, 1.13 WHIP

    During his first season in the Senior Circuit, Gonzalez led the sport in wins and lowest long-ball rate (0.41 HR/9) while pacing all qualifying NL pitchers with 9.35 whiffs per nine innings.

    4.0%
  • Kris Medlen
    10-1, 1.57 ERA, 120 K's, 0.91 WHIP

    Arguably the sport's superlative starter on an outing-for-outing basis, Medlen posted a perfect 9-0 mark with the Majors' lowest ERA (0.97) and the NL's lowest WHIP (0.80) after joining the Atlanta rotation in late July.

    2.8%
  • Cole Hamels
    17-6, 3.05 ERA, 216 K's, 1.12 WHIP

    The southpaw signed a six-year contract extension during the summer before completing the campaign with more than four whiffs per walk and some of the top rate stats in the Senior Circuit.

    2.4%
  • Johnny Cueto
    19-9, 2.78 ERA, 170 K's, 1.17 WHIP

    Despite making home starts in one of the Majors' most hitter-friendly venues, Cueto completed the 2012 campaign with the NL's third-best victory total and ERA.

    1.8%
  • Kyle Lohse
    16-3, 2.86 ERA, 143 K's, 1.09 WHIP

    The efficient right-hander rarely let the Redbirds lose, posting the sport's superlative winning percentage (.842) and finishing among the Senior Circuit's leaders in metrics that measure quantity (T-7, 211 innings) and quality (fourth in WHIP, fifth in ERA).

    1.0%
  • Rookie of the Year Nominees

    Baseball's top first-year stars
    View past winners
    Rookie of the Year

    2011 Craig Kimbrel
    2010 Buster Posey
    2009 J.A. Happ
    2008 Evan Longoria
    2007 Troy Tulowitzki
    2006 Francisco Liriano
    2005 Robinson Cano
    2004 David Wright
    2003 Scott Podsednik
  • Winner
    Mike Trout, CF
    .326 AVG, 30 HR, 83 RBIs, 129 R, 49 SB, .963 OPS

    The AL Rookie of the Month in May, June, July and August, Trout joined Ted Williams, Mel Ott and Alex Rodriguez as the only players to hit .320 or better with at least 30 homers during an age-20 season.

    92.4%
  • Bryce Harper, OF
    .270 AVG, 22 HR, 59 RBIs, 98 R, 18 SB, .817 OPS

    The sensational center fielder impressed during a season that started with much hullabaloo and finished as arguably the greatest for any teenage hitter in history.

    4.2%
  • Yoenis Cespedes, OF
    .292 AVG, 23 HR, 82 RBIs, 70 R, 16 SB, .861 OPS

    Although he was beset by a bevy of injuries, the electrifying Cuban led first-year outfielders with nine assists and became just the third Oakland rookie to post double-digit homers and steals.

    1.9%
  • Yu Darvish, SP
    16-9, 3.90 ERA, 221 K's, 1.28 WHIP

    One of MLB's most-hyped imports of all-time, Darvish completed 2012 as one of four rookie pitchers in the past century with at least 16 wins and more than 200 whiffs (credit: Elias Sports Bureau).

    0.3%
  • Wilin Rosario, C
    .270 AVG, 28 HR, 71 RBIs, 67 R, 4 SB, .843 OPS

    Among baseball's backstops, Colorado's first-year slugger finished atop the field in long balls, tied for fifth in runs and nestled into ninth in RBIs.

    0.2%
  • Norichika Aoki, OF
    .288 AVG, 10 HR, 37 2B, 50 RBIs, 81 R, 30 SB, .787 OPS

    In his first United States season following a successful career in Japan, Aoki paced NL rookies in steals and on-base percentage while finishing second in batting, runs and two-base hits.

    0.2%
  • Anthony Rizzo, 1B
    .285 AVG, 15 HR, 48 RBIs, 44 R, .805 OPS

    From his 2012 debut on June 26 through season's end, Rizzo recorded the most RBIs and tied for second in homers among Senior Circuit rookies.

    0.2%
  • Will Middlebrooks, 3B
    .288 AVG, 15 HR, 54 RBIs, 34 R, .835 OPS

    Middlebrooks was magnificent after his callup in early May -- hitting his way into the everyday order and prompting the trade of the beloved Kevin Youkilis -- but a broken wrist ended his fantastic first-year effort following 75 games.

    0.2%
  • Ryan Cook, RP
    6-2, 2.09 ERA, 14 SV, 21 HLD, 80 K's, 0.94 WHIP

    The Athletics' lone All-Star rep in 2012, Cook started the season with 23 straight scoreless innings, completed the campaign without allowing a run in his final 15 frames and ranked third in opponents' average (.166), fourth in slugging (.261) and fifth in ERA among AL relievers.

    0.2%
  • Wade Miley, SP
    16-11, 3.33 ERA, 144 K's, 1.18 WHIP

    No first-year hurler won more games than Miley, an NL All-Star who paced qualifying rookies in ERA, WHIP and innings pitched (194 2/3).

    0.1%
  • Todd Frazier, 3B/1B
    .273 AVG, 19 HR, 67 RBIs, 55 R, .829 OPS

    One of the season's biggest surprises, Frazier filled in for Scott Rolen and Joey Votto and finished his first big league campaign among the best rookies in many meaningful offensive metrics.

    0.1%
  • Jarrod Parker, SP
    13-8, 3.47 ERA, 140 K's, 1.26 WHIP

    Parker impressed in his first big league campaign, tying an Oakland record for rookie wins, leading the Athletics' young staff with 140 strikeouts and posting the lowest ERA among AL first-year pitchers.

    0.1%
  • Closer of the Year

    Rodney was chosen by a panel of experts in a non-fan-voting category
    View past winners
    Closer of the Year

    2011 Jose Valverde
    2010 Brian Wilson
    2009 Mariano Rivera
    2008 Brad Lidge
    2007 Jonathan Papelbon
    2006 Mariano Rivera
    2005 Mariano Rivera
    2004 Mariano Rivera
    2003 NA
    2002 John Smoltz
  • Winner
    Fernando Rodney
    2-2, 48/50 SVO, 0.60 ERA, 76 K's, 0.78 WHIP

    Despite starting the spring as a setup man, Rodney was named the top stopper by an expert panel after posting the lowest ERA for any hurler in history with at least 50 innings pitched. The first-time All-Star led relievers with the highest successful-save rate (96 percent) and the best home ERA (0.44, min: 22 home innings).

  • Setup Man of the Year Nominees

    The unheralded stars of the bullpen
    View past winners
    Setup Man of the Year

    2011 David Robertson
    2010 Joaquin Benoit
    2009 Jeremy Affeldt
    2008 Hong-Chih Kuo
    2007 Hideki Okajima
    2006 Joel Zumaya
    2005 Neal Cotts
    2004 Francisco Rodriguez
    2003 Brendan Donnelly
    2002 Chris Hammond
  • Winner
    Sergio Romo
    23 HLD, 14 SV, 1.79 ERA, 63 K's, 0.85 WHIP

    The owner of a 6.3 K/BB ratio in 2012, Romo blanked opponents in 63 of 69 games -- including 27 of his final 29 -- and excelled when asked to close out contests down the stretch.

    45.1%
  • Vinnie Pestano
    36 HLD, 2 SV, 2.57 ERA, 76 K's, 1.10 WHIP

    Pestano posted the Majors' second-most holds, allowed a .207 average and secured a pair of saves that served as icing on the cake of a sensational season.

    18.5%
  • Mitchell Boggs
    34 HLD, 2.21 ERA, 58 K's, 1.05 WHIP

    One of MLB's best late-inning bridges, Boggs led Senior Circuit setup men in holds and held opponents scoreless in 65 of his 78 trips to the hill.

    14.7%
  • Ryan Cook
    21 HLD, 14 SV, 2.09 ERA, 80 K's, 0.94 WHIP

    The Athletics' lone All-Star rep in 2012 started the year with 23 straight scoreless frames and wrapped up the regular season with 14 saves as well as a 0.72 ERA and .174 opponents' average across his final 23 games.

    6.7%
  • David Robertson
    30 HLD, 2 SV, 2.67 ERA, 81 K's, 1.17 WHIP

    A true strikeout artist, Robertson wrapped up his fifth big league season with history's second-highest K/9 rate (12.03) among hurlers with at least 200 career innings logged.

    5.4%
  • Joel Peralta
    37 HLD, 2 SV, 3.63 ERA, 84 K's, 0.99 WHIP

    Fernando Rodney's legendary closing campaign could not have occurred without the work of Peralta, who led baseball in holds while permitting fewer walks and hits than innings pitched.

    3.9%
  • Luke Gregerson
    24 HLD, 9 SV, 2.39 ERA, 72 K's, 1.09 WHIP

    Gregerson excelled in the eighth frame for most of the season and stepped up when San Diego's All-Star stopper Huston Street went down, saving games from late August to mid-September.

    2.4%
  • Ronald Belisario
    23 HLD, 1 SV, 2.54 ERA, 69 K's, 1.07 WHIP

    No big league reliever won more often than Belisario, who tallied five of his eight victories during a 17-game late-season stretch sans an earned run allowed.

    1.4%
  • Eric O'Flaherty
    28 HLD, 1.73 ERA, 46 K's, 1.15 WHIP

    The southpaw limited left-handed hitters to a .113 average while serving as Craig Kimbrel's primary setup man and was nearly perfect after the All-Star break, registering a 0.35 ERA in 26 second-half frames.

    1.1%
  • David Hernandez
    25 HLD, 4 SV, 2.50 ERA, 98 K's, 1.02 WHIP

    The Arizona setup man had some of the best stuff in the sport, finishing fourth among NL relievers in whiffs and stifling opponents to the tune of a .190 batting average allowed.

    0.5%
  • Joaquin Benoit
    30 HLD, 2 SV, 3.68 ERA, 84 K's, 1.14 WHIP

    During his third straight strong season, Detroit's sturdy setup bridge tied for sixth in strikeouts, seventh in appearances (73) and ninth in wins (five) among AL relievers.

    0.3%
  • Sean Marshall
    22 HLD, 9 SV, 2.51 ERA, 74 K's, 1.16 WHIP

    Marshall posted a handful of early-season saves before shifting into a setup role and recorded a remarkable 1.74 ERA from May 20 through year's end.

    0.2%
  • Defensive Player of the Year Nominees

    The game's glove gurus, as selected by the Society for American Baseball Research
    View past winners
    Defensive Player of the Year

    2011 Asdrubal Cabrera
    2010 Elvis Andrus
    2009 Jacoby Ellsbury
    2008 Orlando Cabrera
    2007 Placido Polanco
    2006 Mike Lowell
    2005 Ichiro Suzuki
    2004 Jim Edmonds
    2003 Jim Edmonds
    2002 Torii Hunter
  • Winner
    Yadier Molina, C
    .997 FLD PCT, 47.9 CS pct., 16 Defensive Runs Saved

    The Cardinals' star backstop once again shined among the sport's leaders in every catching category.

    17.3%
  • Darwin Barney, 2B
    .997 FLD PCT, 28 Defensive Runs Saved

    Barney's Defensive Runs Saved at second base led the sport by a wide margin, as none of his positional peers compiled more than 15. He also tied a Major League mark with 141 straight games sans an error at the keystone.

    15.6%
  • Mike Trout, CF
    .993 FLD PCT, 23 Defensive Runs Saved

    The rookie's many highlight-reel catches helped spur the Angels into postseason contention.

    15.1%
  • Brendan Ryan, SS
    .985 FLD PCT, 27 Defensive Runs Saved

    Ryan led all shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved and was involved in many double plays.

    14.0%
  • Michael Bourn, CF
    .995 FLD PCT, 24 Defensive Runs Saved

    Bourn led center fielders in many sabermetric fielding categories.

    10.1%
  • J.J. Hardy, SS
    .992 FLD PCT, 18 Defensive Runs Saved

    Hardy was a winning combination for the O's, recording the most assists and making the fewest errors among starting shortstops.

    6.9%
  • Danny Espinosa, 2B
    .989 FLD PCT, 329 assists, 3 Defensive Runs Saved

    The Nationals keystone man helped Washington improve its fielding percentage from 2011 to 2012.

    4.3%
  • Mark Teixeira, 1B
    .999 FLD PCT, 17 Defensive Runs Saved

    Despite taking the field 119 times, Teixeira started an MLB-best 16 double plays from first base.

    3.1%
  • Clint Barmes, SS
    399 assists, 13 Defensive Runs Saved

    Despite starting just 135 times, Barmes used his brilliant range to make more plays than many of his peers.

    2.4%
  • Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
    .998 FLD PCT, 16 Defensive Runs Saved

    The slick-fielding first baseman's 43 "scoops" saved infielders with Boston and Los Angeles this season.

    2.3%
  • Mike Moustakas, 3B
    127 putouts, 312 assists, 14 Defensive Runs Saved

    Moustakas helped start more double plays (37) than any other third baseman.

    2.3%
  • Alex Gordon, LF
    319 putouts, 17 assists, 24 Defensive Runs Saved

    Gordon used his powerful right arm to finish second in the sport in outfield assists.

    2.2%
  • Jason Heyward, RF
    331 putouts, 11 assists, 20 Defensive Runs Saved

    With range that extended from the infield dirt to the warning track, Heyward led all right fielders in plays made.

    1.9%
  • David Wright, 3B
    .974 FLD PCT, 16 Defensive Runs Saved

    Steady and dependable, Wright led Major League hot-corner men in Range Runs with 11.6.

    1.5%
  • Ryan Hanigan, C
    .995 FLD PCT, 48.5 CS pct., 7 Defensive Runs Saved

    In just 110 games, the Cincinnati backstop paced all catchers in Total Zone Runs.

    1.1%
  • Breakout Hitter of the Year Nominees

    A new class of heavyweight hitters has arrived
    View past winners
    Breakout Hitter of the Year

    2011 NA
    2010 Carlos Gonzalez
    2009 Jayson Werth
  • Winner
    Chase Headley, 3B
    .286 AVG, 31 HR, 115 RBIs, 95 R, .875 OPS

    Headley's 2012 production numbers were unrecognizable from seasons past, as San Diego's hot-corner man led the NL in RBIs and reached base safely in a big league-best 146 games.

    32.3%
  • Edwin Encarnacion, DH/1B
    .280 AVG, 42 HR, 110 RBIs, 93 R, .941 OPS

    The north of the border bopper belted the big leagues' fourth-most long balls -- eclipsing his combined total from the two years prior -- and doubled his RBI total from 2011.

    30.7%
  • Allen Craig, 1B/OF
    .307 AVG, 22 HR, 92 RBIs, 76 R, .876 OPS

    Proving to be a prolific run producer when healthy, Craig paced the NL with one RBI for every 5.10 at-bats after hitting a big league-best .400 with runners in scoring position.

    15.1%
  • Josh Reddick, RF
    .242 AVG, 32 HR, 85 RBIs, 85 R, 11 SB, .768 OPS

    Receiving regular playing time for the first year in his big league career after being acquired from Boston in the winter, Reddick recorded great production numbers and played dazzling defense for a team that ended 2012 as one of the season's best stories.

    9.0%
  • Ian Desmond, SS
    .292 AVG, 25 HR, 73 RBIs, 72 R, 21 SB, .845 OPS

    Despite missing time with an oblique strain, the shortstop slugged more homers than he had hit in his entire career entering the year and set new marks in many meaningful categories.

    4.0%
  • Carlos Ruiz, C
    .325 AVG, 16 HR, 68 RBIs, 56 R, 4 SB, .935 OPS

    Voted the Phillies' MVP by his city's Baseball Writers' Association of America chapter, Ruiz enjoyed an across-the-board career year and finished second among backstops (min: 400 PA) in OPS.

    3.8%
  • Chris Davis, OF/1B
    .270 AVG, 33 HR, 85 RBIs, 75 R, .827 OPS

    The 2012 Orioles' top homer hitter went deep seven times in a six-game stretch as the season wound to a close, spreading icing on the cake of a campaign that surprised many around the sport.

    2.7%
  • Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
    .286 AVG, 20 HR, 82 RBIs, 82 R, 18 SB, .850 OPS

    A top preseason sleeper pick by many in the fantasy baseball world, Goldschmidt got the job done in the desert by becoming just the eighth different first baseman since 1980 to record at least 20 homers and 18 steals in one season.

    2.5%
  • Breakout Pitcher of the Year Nominees

    Baseball's new wave of upper-echelon arms
    View past winners
    Breakout Pitcher of the Year

    2011 Ian Kennedy
  • Winner
    R.A. Dickey, SP
    20-6, 2.73 ERA, 230 K's, 1.05 WHIP

    Dickey dazzled during one of the most surprising seasons in recent memory, making his Midsummer Classic debut and becoming the Mets' first 20-game winner since 1990.

    41.4%
  • Kris Medlen, SP
    10-1, 1.57 ERA, 120 K's, 0.91 WHIP

    Medlen, who posted so-so stats in 2009-10 before missing most of the subsequent season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, went a perfect 9-0 with a pristine 0.97 ERA after rejoining Atlanta's rotation in late July.

    27.6%
  • Aroldis Chapman, RP
    38/43 SVO, 1.51 ERA, 122 K's, 0.81 WHIP

    The sport's hardest thrower was virtually unstoppable during his first season in the ninth, allowing nary an earned run in April, May and July and just one in August.

    13.0%
  • Chris Sale, SP
    17-8, 3.05 ERA, 192 K's, 1.14 WHIP

    In his first professional season as a starting pitcher, the stud southpaw from Chicago's South Side made the AL's Midsummer Classic club and concluded his breakout campaign among the league's leaders in wins, ERA and WHIP.

    10.4%
  • Jim Johnson, RP
    51/54 SVO, 2.49 ERA, 41 K's, 1.02 WHIP

    Baltimore's remarkable run to the postseason may not have occurred sans the stellar work of the O's surprising stopper, who paced the sport in saves and mastered the art of securing the slimmest of leads.

    5.6%
  • Tom Wilhelmsen, RP
    29/34 SVO, 2.50 ERA, 87 K's, 1.11 WHIP

    From former bartender to the back of the Mariners bullpen, Wilhelmsen ranked among the top AL relievers in saves and strikeouts during a season that included a 24-inning scoreless streak.

    1.9%
  • Comeback Player of the Year

    Baseball's best bounceback efforts
    View past winners
    Comeback Player of the Year

    2011 Lance Berkman
  • Winner
    Buster Posey, C
    .336 AVG, 24 HR, 103 RBIs, 78 R, .957 OPS

    Posey, whose 2011 campaign was cut short by a devastating leg injury, came back to post MLB's best batting average and career highs in homers, RBIs and runs scored. All told, the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year completed 2012 with the Senior Circuit's second-highest OPS.

    64.4%
  • Fernando Rodney, RP
    2-2, 48/50 SVO, 0.60 ERA, 76 K's, 0.78 WHIP

    Following a pair of mediocre campaigns, Rodney posted the stingiest single-season ERA of all-time among hurlers with at least 50 frames thrown. Tampa Bay's stopper also finished 2012 with a big league-best 96-percent save rate and an extremely impressive batting average allowed (.167).

    25.2%
  • Adam Dunn, DH/1B
    .204 AVG, 41 HR, 96 RBIs, 87 R, .800 OPS

    After suffering through a historically rough season -- he hit .159 with little pop in 2011 -- the veteran slugger rediscovered his light-tower power and raised his batting average back over the Mendoza line.

    10.4%
  • Manager of the Year Nominees

    The game's elite skippers
    View past winners
    Manager of the Year

    2011 Kirk Gibson
    2010 Bruce Bochy
    2009 Jim Tracy
    2008 Charlie Manuel
    2007 Joe Torre
    2006 Jim Leyland
    2005 Ozzie Guillen
    2004 Terry Francona
    2003 Dusty Baker
  • Winner
    Buck Showalter
    93-69 record, AL Wild Card berth

    The Orioles reached the postseason for the first time since 1997 after buckling up for their astute skipper, who led Baltimore to the best all-time record in games decided by the slimmest of margins (29-9, .763 winning percentage).

    21.2%
  • Bob Melvin
    94-68 record, 1st place in AL West

    Melvin's A's overcame a double-digit division deficit that did not completely close until the regular season's final day, a matinee that ended with Oakland's first AL West title since 2006.

    19.6%
  • Bruce Bochy
    94-68 record, 1st place in NL West, World Series champion

    Bochy's Giants did not power their way to the playoffs, having hit the fewest regular-season homers in all the sport, but the World Series-winning skipper secured the NL West by eight games on the back of 30 one-run wins.

    18.1%
  • Davey Johnson
    98-64 record, 1st place in NL East

    In leading Washington to the Majors' best record, Johnson managed the first D.C.-based big league club to reach the postseason since 1933.

    15.3%
  • Dusty Baker
    97-65 record, 1st place in NL Central

    The veteran skipper signed a well-deserved contract extension shortly after the 2012 regular season, which saw Cincinnati's highest victory total since 1976.

    6.6%
  • Joe Girardi
    95-67 record, 1st place in AL East

    Girardi's squad secured home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs in a year that included long-term injuries to Mariano Rivera and Brett Gardner in addition to down campaigns from several key cogs.

    6.0%
  • Mike Matheny
    88-74 record, NL Wild Card berth

    Matheny walked into 2012 with the task of filling the skipper shoes of the legendary Tony La Russa, but the former big league backstop responded by becoming the first rookie manager to lead the Cardinals to the postseason since Eddie Dyer in 1946.

    4.8%
  • Jim Leyland
    88-74 record, 1st place in AL Central, AL champion

    Baseball's active leader in managerial triumphs, Leyland led the Tigers to their second straight AL Central title and joined Hughie Jennings as the only skippers in Detroit history to thrice reach the postseason.

    4.7%
  • Fredi Gonzalez
    94-68 record, NL Wild Card berth

    Gonzalez was blamed in part for the 2011 Braves' September collapse, one of the worst in history, but the skipper ensured that his squad did not end up in infamy as a franchise unable to bounce back from a big blow.

    2.0%
  • Ron Washington
    93-69 record, AL Wild Card berth

    With Washington, Texas advanced to the playoffs for a third straight campaign to match the total number of postseason appearances earned by the franchise during its first 49 years of existence (club played as the Washington Senators from 1961-71).

    1.8%
  • Executive of the Year Nominees

    Baseball's best team architects
    View past winners
    Executive of the Year

    2011 John Mozeliak
    2010 Brian Sabean
    2009 Ruben Amaro, Jr.
    2008 Pat Gillick
  • Winner
    Billy Beane
    94-68 record, 1st place in AL West

    Beane dealt away top talent during the winter with tomorrow in mind, but Oakland's window for winning opened early after breakout performances from international signee Yoenis Cespedes, Minor League free agent Brandon Moss and trade acquisitions Josh Reddick, Jarrod Parker, Tom Milone and All-Star Ryan Cook.

    27.6%
  • Brian Sabean
    94-68 record, 1st place in NL West, World Series champion

    The Dodgers may have dazzled Major League Baseball with one of the biggest midseason trades in recent memory, but Sabean set up a San Francisco squad that won the NL West by an eight-game margin.

    21.9%
  • Dan Duquette
    93-69 record, AL Wild Card berth

    Returning to the GM chair for the first time in nearly a decade, Duquette helped Baltimore break its long string of postseason games watched from home with a number of shrewd moves to the Orioles' staff (Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel, Miguel Gonzalez) and starting lineup (Nate McLouth, Manny Machado callup).

    13.9%
  • Walt Jocketty
    97-65 record, 1st place in NL Central

    From starter Mat Latos to slugger Ryan Ludwick, Jocketty assembled a division-winning squad for the second time in three seasons after making multiple moves that were anything but certain to work at the point of completion.

    12.5%
  • Mike Rizzo
    98-64 record, 1st place in NL East

    Washington posted baseball's best record after Rizzo traded for the Majors' wins leader (Gio Gonzalez), afforded an April callup to a 19-year-old All-Star (Bryce Harper) and balanced today and tomorrow with an imposed innings limit for one of the sport's most electric arms (Stephen Strasburg).

    9.7%
  • Dave Dombrowski
    88-74 record, 1st place in AL Central, AL champion

    The Tigers reached the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1934-35 under Dombrowski, who solidified Detroit during the winter and enhanced its chances at a long October run with a summer swap for starting-rotation (Anibal Sanchez) and second-base (Omar Infante) help.

    6.0%
  • John Mozeliak
    88-74 record, NL Wild Card berth

    St. Louis lost skipper Tony La Russa and slugger Albert Pujols and played most of 2012 sans ace Chris Carpenter, but Mozeliak's club fell just shy of its second straight World Series berth. Free-agent pickup Carlos Beltran and midseason acquisition Edward Mujica (1.03 ERA after the trade) helped boost the Redbirds.

    3.6%
  • Brian Cashman
    95-67 record, 1st place in AL East

    Although his club was beset by the injury bug, Cashman managed to assemble the AL's top regular-season team thanks in part to a pair of winter signings -- Hiroki Kuroda and Raul Ibanez -- and a July trade that landed the legendary Ichiro Suzuki.

    2.2%
  • Jon Daniels
    93-69 record, AL Wild Card berth

    Daniels' Rangers returned to the postseason for a franchise-record third straight year with help from a young and talented starting rotation, a rejuvenated ninth-inning man in Joe Nathan, a Deadline deal for Ryan Dempster and a farm system that ranks as one of baseball's best.

    1.4%
  • Frank Wren
    94-68 record, NL Wild Card berth

    One year after the worst September collapse in Senior Circuit history, Wren's Braves moved middle reliever-turned-Cy Young contender Kris Medlen back into the rotation prior to posting the Majors' best mark from Sept. 1 to season's end.

    1.2%
  • Postseason MVP Nominees

    The prime playoff performers
    View past winners
    Postseason MVP

    2011 David Freese
    2010 Tim Lincecum
  • Winner
    Pablo Sandoval
    .364, 6 HR, 13 RBIs, 9 R, 1.098 OPS

    The World Series MVP joined Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only men to hit three homers in a single Fall Classic game. He punished pitchers through the NL playoffs, as well, and finished the tournament with twice as many long balls as anyone in the sport.

    37.0%
  • Marco Scutaro
    .328, 8 RBIs, 11 R, .767 OPS

    Scutaro was named NLCS MVP after tying a League Championship Series record with 14 hits and reminded everyone of his October excellence by tallying the World Series-winning single in the 10th inning of Game 4.

    18.4%
  • Ryan Vogelsong
    3-0, 1.09 ERA, 21 K's, 1.05 WHIP

    Stellar during the entire postseason, Vogelsong wrapped up an unbelievable October with the lowest playoff ERA by a starting pitcher since Atlanta's John Smoltz posted a 0.95 ERA in 1996 (min: 24 innings).

    10.9%
  • Raul Ibanez
    .318, 3 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 R, 1.196 OPS

    Ibanez's amazing October came to fruition against Baltimore during Game 3 of the Division Series, when he hit a game-tying pinch-hit homer in the ninth and then won it with a homer in the 12th.

    9.1%
  • Sergio Romo
    4 SV, 0.84 ERA, 9 K's, 0.47 WHIP

    Romo had a dominant postseason, but he was at his best in the World Series, appearing in three contests -- Games 2, 3 and 4 -- and saving all of them. He pitched three perfect frames in the final round and was on the mound for the Fall Classic's last out.

    4.2%
  • Carlos Beltran
    .357, 3 HR, 6 RBIs, 8 R, 1.154 OPS

    Beltran added to his October legend with another excellent postseason at the plate -- including a two-homer performance in NLDS Game 2.

    4.1%
  • Justin Verlander
    3-1, 2.22 ERA, 29 K's, 0.78 WHIP

    Verlander was nearly unhittable until the World Series, going 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA and a Division Series-record 22 whiffs against the A's and limiting the Yankees to one run in 8 1/3 frames during his lone ALCS outing.

    3.9%
  • Buster Posey
    .200, 3 HR, 9 RBIs, 5 R, .644 OPS

    Posey came up big once again in the World Series, catching four straight wins and hitting a two-run home run in Game 4. He also belted two long balls during the Division Series, including a key grand slam during the decisive Game 5.

    3.8%
  • Delmon Young
    .313, 3 HR, 9 RBIs, 5 R, .907 OPS

    ALCS MVP Young tied for the Tigers lead in postseason homers, paced the team in RBIs and hit over .300 in the tournament. And in all four LCS games, the slugger knocked in the run that put Detroit ahead for good.

    3.4%
  • Barry Zito
    2-0, 1.69 ERA, 13 K's, 1.38 WHIP

    Zito saved the Giants' season on the road by winning Game 5 of the NLCS in St. Louis with a performance for the ages. Then he followed up with a tone-setting victory in Game 1 of the World Series.

    2.5%
  • Miguel Cabrera
    .265, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 5 R, .817 OPS

    The AL Triple Crown winner homered once in the ALCS and once more in the World Series and was a huge on-base presence throughout Detroit's AL Division Series win over Oakland.

    1.5%
  • Phil Coke
    2 SV, 0.84 ERA, 13 K's, 0.75 WHIP

    Coke was simply incredible for the AL champions, posting a sub-1.00 ERA in 10 appearances, fanning more than a batter per inning, and nailing down a pair of saves.

    1.3%
  • Play of the Year Nominees

    The top defensive efforts of the season
    View past winners
    Play of the Year

    2011 Ben Revere (grab at the wall)
    2010 Mark Buehrle (amazing flip to 1st)
    2009 Dewayne Wise (catch saves perfect game)
    2008 Gabe Kapler (greets fan)
    2007 Curtis Granderson (wall grab)
    2006 Melky Cabrera (robs Manny)
    2005 David Wright (barehander)
    2004 Derek Jeter (stands dive)
    2003 Rafael Furcal (unassisted triple play)
    2002 Torii Hunter (ASG catch)
  • Winner

    J.J. Hardy tattooed a pitch that was ticketed to soar over the Orioles' center-field fence, but Mike Trout cooled the Camden Yards crowd with a snow-cone catch and his first homer robbery of 2012.

    15.6%
  • The perfect catch
    June 13 vs. HOU

    A ball tagged deep into the right-center-field gap was seemingly ticketed to end Matt Cain's perfect game in the seventh frame, until a diving desperation grab by Gregor Blanco kept the bid alive.

    13.4%
  • The Mets' first no-hitter was hanging in the balance on a screaming seventh-inning shot, but Mike Baxter saved the night with a successful full-speed sprint to the ball before crashing hard into the left-field wall.

    13.2%
  • Rajai Davis did his best impersonation of Spider-Man by scaling a 10-foot wall to take a homer away from the Yankees' Casey McGehee.

    12.6%
  • On the first play after entering in the ninth for defensive purposes with a no-hitter on the line, Brendan Ryan charged a ground ball by Dodgers speedster Dee Gordon, picked it up and made an incredibly quick throw to first to keep the no-no intact.

    5.6%
  • Snider-Man
    Sept. 27 at NYM

    Talk about a vertical game: Travis Snider soared far above Citi Field's right-field wall to rob Mike Baxter of a home run, a high-flying act that instantly earned him the nickname "Snider-Man," as in "Spider-Man."

    4.8%
  • Machado's pump-fake
    Sept. 12 vs. TB

    With the go-ahead run on second base in the ninth during a tied AL East race, Manny Machado raced in to field a slow roller, pump-faked to first base, turned and flipped to third to end a dangerous scoring threat. The O's won in walk-off fashion in the frame's bottom half.

    4.1%
  • Adrian Beltre made many beautiful plays throughout the year, including a July barehanded grab and throw on a well-placed bunt by Boston's Pedro Ciriaco.

    2.8%
  • A diving catch by Austin Jackson, who rarely has to go horizontal due to his stellar speed, kept the game tied in extra innings until the Tigers could win in walk-off fashion.

    2.7%
  • With San Diego leading by one, shortstop Everth Cabrera made a diving stop beyond the infield and managed to throw out Arizona's Justin Upton at first base.

    2.5%
  • Brandon Phillips -- one of baseball's flashiest glove gurus -- snagged a ground ball hit up the middle and flipped it between his legs to start a double play that was tailor made for the highlight reels.

    2.2%
  • A spectacular leaping catch by center fielder Michael Brantley robbed slugger Alex Rios of a would-be three-run homer.

    2.0%
  • J.D. Martinez's outstanding throw home for the second out of the ninth preserved Lucas Harrell's first career shutout, the only one thrown by an NL rookie pitcher in 2012.

    2.0%
  • Alex Rios leapt over the wall -- without really even looking -- to take a two-run homer away from Corey Hart with two outs in the fourth. The White Sox went on to win in walk-off fashion in the 10th, 1-0.

    1.7%
  • Tyler Colvin reached over the center-field wall to take a long ball away from Oakland's Cliff Pennington.

    1.7%
  • Nava's diving save
    Sept. 14 at TOR

    Daniel Nava made a game-saving diving catch in the bottom of the eighth before Mauro Gomez's tiebreaking triple propelled the Red Sox to an 8-5 win in Toronto.

    1.5%
  • Simmons' diving stop
    June 17 vs. BAL

    Andrelton Simmons dove to his right to stop Adam Jones' hot shot deep in the hole and made a strong throw to end the top of the fourth.

    1.4%
  • After John Axford fanned Yadier Molina for the second out of the ninth, shortstop Alex Gonzalez sealed the win with a heads-up throw home during a rundown.

    1.4%
  • A wild game-ending play finished favorably for the Royals when third baseman Mike Moustakas retrieved an errant throw and fired a strike home to preserve the one-run win.

    1.1%
  • The Rays threw out Omar Vizquel at the plate for the final out, which is exactly how the game ended the night before -- except the Rays had been on the losing end. Jose Molina went up to grab the high throw but managed to maintain his position and completed the highlight conclusion.

    1.1%
  • With a runner on first and no one out in the fifth, the Padres' John Baker hit a deep drive that looked as if it might carry over Adam Eaton's head. But the rookie center fielder tracked it down, whirled and fired a 200-foot strike for the dazzling 8-3 double play.

    1.1%
  • During the Division Series, Russell Martin made a great play in front of the plate on a swinging bunt and threw to first for the out.

    1.0%
  • Washington's regular season concluded with a big league-best 98 victories, including one 12th-inning win that ended on Roger Bernadina's brilliant wall-climbing catch.

    0.9%
  • Sprinting straight back on a hard line drive to deep center field, Justin Ruggiano raced under the ball and made a leaping, diving grab that saved two runs and ended a scoring threat.

    0.7%
  • Revere's basket catch
    Sept. 15 vs. CWS

    With the back of his jersey facing the infield, Ben Revere made an amazing basket catch on the warning track to prevent runs from scoring.

    0.6%
  • Jon Jay topped his own season highlight reel with his spectacular sixth-inning catch during Game 2 of the NLDS vs. the Nationals. The dazzling effort helped preserve St. Louis' four-run lead and kept Washington from starting a rally.

    0.6%
  • In the fifth inning, Starlin Castro made an acrobatic play in shallow left to grab a fly ball by the White Sox Alejandro De Aza. How did he do it? "I don't know," Castro said.

    0.5%
  • During an eventual 2-0 win over the Tigers, Coco Crisp kept a one-run lead intact in a win-or-go-home ALDS Game 3 by robbing Prince Fielder of a home run.

    0.5%
  • Justin Sellers helped seal a 3-1 win over the D-backs by bolting into the stands to make an incredible catch on a ninth-inning popup, but he ultimately needed season-ending surgery from a back injury suffered on the play.

    0.3%
  • Hot-corner excellence
    Aug. 21 vs. CIN

    With the bases loaded and none out in the sixth inning and the Phillies leading by one run, Kevin Frandsen made a stellar stop at third base, twirled from his knees and quickly threw home to complete a tough forceout.

    0.3%
  • Storyline of the Year Nominees

    The season's most compelling angles
    View past winners
    Storyline of the Year

    2011 Dan Johnson (Game 162 HR)
    2010 Dallas Braden (with grandmother, post perfect game)
    2009 Derek Jeter (Yankees hit king)
    2008 Derek Jeter (stadium finale)
    2007 Craig Biggio (3,000th hit)
  • Winner

    Division cellar dwellers four years running, the Orioles entered 2012 without much optimism from those outside the organization. But Baltimore was set to leave the nest and join the best, posting baseball's top all-time record in one-run affairs en route to the franchise's first postseason berth since 1997.

    21.1%
  • Winner

    The Nationals defeated the Dodgers on an eventful late September evening to clinch a D.C.-based baseball team's first postseason berth since 1933, the inaugural year of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency.

    21.1%
  • After exiting Detroit's regular-season finale with an AL-best .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs, Miguel Cabrera had his everyday excellence confirmed in the form of the Majors' first Triple Crown since 1967.

    16.3%
  • Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey watched his stature soar in 2012, becoming the Mets' first 20-win pitcher in more than two decades while completing a long journey in which he faced much adversity.

    10.9%
  • With their rout of the reigning AL champion Rangers on the season's final day, the Cinderella A's -- owners of a big league-best 14 walk-off wins -- became the first club to clinch a division crown or league pennant by overcoming a five-game deficit with fewer than 10 to play.

    10.4%
  • Players and fans alike spent the year marveling at young stars Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, who were called up from Triple-A on the same late April day before sharing the spotlight at the Midsummer Classic and closing the 2012 campaign with historically significant seasons.

    6.5%
  • In one of his last stops on the big league bus headed for Cooperstown, N.Y., Chipper Jones was honored by the Braves organization during a moving ceremony that paid tribute to the legend's illustrious career. The eight-time All-Star won an MVP award, a batting title and a World Series ring with Atlanta.

    4.9%
  • Before 2012, baseball had never witnessed more than two perfect games in a single year. That all changed when Matt Cain, Felix Hernandez and Philip Humber helped highlight a season that saw a modern-record-tying seven no-hitters.

    4.0%
  • Not even the most prescient prognosticator could have predicted the drama that permeated MLB's postseason. The amazing October opened with a pair of one-game Wild Card playoffs, continued when all four Division Series went the five-game distance and entered the Fall Classic following a seven-game NLCS between San Francisco and St. Louis.

    3.8%
  • Opening Night was held in the brand-new Marlins Park, a stadium that served as a one-stop hub for fans of Major League Baseball and the Miami party experience. Though the Marlins' on-field performance fell short of expectations, the rookie facility proved to be among the game's most glamorous.

    1.0%
  • Hitting Performance of the Year Nominees

    Baseball's best efforts from the batter's box
    View past winners
    Hitting Performance of the Year

    2011 Derek Jeter (5-for-5, HR for 3,000th hit)
    2010 NA
    2009 NA
    2008 NA
    2007 NA
    2006 Albert Pujols (3 HR w. walk-off)
    2005 Alex Rodriguez (3 HR, 10 RBIs)
    2004 Bill Mueller (grand slams both sides of plate)
  • Winner
    Hamilton's four-homer game
    5-for-5, 4 R, 4 HR, 8 RBIs, 2B, May 8 at BAL

    Josh Hamilton launched four long balls into the Baltimore skyline and added a double for good measure to set the AL standard with 18 total bases in a single game.

    73.3%
  • Hill's second cycle
    4-for-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBIs, 2B, 3B, June 29 at MIL

    Aaron Hill's headfirst slide into Miller Park's third-base bag marked his second cycle in less than a fortnight and the first two-cycle season for any batter since the Brooklyn Robins' Babe Herman produced a pair in 1931.

    8.5%
  • Morales frames great game
    2-for-2, 2 R, 2 HR, 6 RBIs (sixth inning only) July 30 at TEX

    Mired in a 3-for-28 slump entering the sixth inning, switch-hitter Kendrys Morales belted his way into baseball lore by becoming just the third player to homer from opposite sides of the plate in the same frame (two-run homer, grand slam).

    5.2%
  • Rocky Mountain hot
    4-for-4, 4 R, 4 HR, 7 RBIs, May 30 (3 AB)-May 31 (1 AB) vs. HOU

    Carlos Gonzalez was video-game hot during a two-game stretch against the Astros, slugging homers in four straight at-bats to tie the Major League mark.

    4.5%
  • Five-for-fantastic
    5-for-5, 3 R, 3 HR, 4 RBIs, April 19 vs. MIN

    No Yankees hitter had ever enjoyed a 5-for-5, three-homer game until the great feat was completed by Curtis Granderson, who became the first Bombers batter with 14 total bases in a single contest since Joe DiMaggio in 1950.

    2.5%
  • Eight RBIs, again
    4-for-5, 2 R, HR, 8 RBIs, 2B, May 25 vs. TOR

    Nelson Cruz recorded an eight-RBI game for the second time in his career -- only 10 others have done so on multiple occasions -- during a grand effort capped by a bases-loaded long ball.

    1.9%
  • Two in a frame, three in a game
    3-for-5, 3 R, 3 HR, 5 RBIs, Aug. 22 vs. BAL

    Having already gone yard two innings prior, Adrian Beltre homered twice in the fourth to become the second player in club history with a pair of long balls in one frame. In doing so, he joined Albert Pujols, George Brett, Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth on a short list of men with three-homer games in both the regular season and playoffs.

    1.7%
  • Shrugging it off
    1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB, Aug. 11 at CWS

    Just one inning after dislocating a shoulder on a valiant dive that saved extra bases, the gritty Brandon Inge gave the A's a lead they would not relinquish after slicing an eighth-frame single down the right-field line.

    1.6%
  • Thome homers past Sosa
    3-for-5, 2 R, HR, RBI, 2B, July 20 at CLE

    As a visitor at his old stomping grounds -- Progressive Field -- Jim Thome belted his first homer as a member of the O's and the 610th of his career to pass Sammy Sosa for seventh place on MLB's career long-balls list.

    0.7%
  • Pitching Performance of the Year Nominees

    The game's greatest gems from 60 feet, 6 inches away
    View past winners
    Pitching Performance of the Year

    2010 Armando Galarraga (near perfect game)
    2009 Mark Buehrle (perfect game)
    2008 Jon Lester (no-hitter)
    2007 Clay Buchholz (no-hitter)
    2006 NA
    2005 NA
    2004 Randy Johnson (perfect game)
  • Winner
    Praising Cain
    W, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 14 K, June 13 vs. HOU

    Matt Cain reached the pinnacle of pitching success in a June start against the Astros, retiring all 27 hitters faced with 14 whiffs to become the first perfect pitcher in his franchise's long and hallowed history.

    38.7%
  • All hail the King
    W, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K, Aug. 15 vs. TB

    One of the sport's top starters of the past eight seasons, Felix Hernandez had never tossed a no-hitter -- let alone a perfect game -- until he retired 27 straight Rays during a 1-0 gem in the Emerald City.

    34.8%
  • Santana twirls first no-no in Mets history
    W, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 8 K, June 1 vs. STL

    In an incredible effort against the Cardinals, Johan Santana helped celebrate the Mets' 50th anniversary season by tossing the first no-hitter in franchise history.

    9.7%
  • The Humber Game
    W, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, April 21 at SEA

    Philip Humber ensured that his name will remain in baseball immortality on one April afternoon, sitting down 27 straight Seattle hitters en route to the first perfect game of 2012.

    6.0%
  • Dream Weaver
    W, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, May 2 vs. MIN

    With his parents and wife watching from the stands, Jered Weaver faced two Twins over the minimum during a Wednesday night no-hitter at his hometown Angel Stadium.

    4.3%
  • Homer's odyssey
    W, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, Sept. 28 at PIT

    In his penultimate regular-season start, Homer Bailey baffled Bucs batters during the Majors' modern-day-record-tying seventh no-hitter of the year.

    3.4%
  • Combo special
    W, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, June 8 vs. LAD

    Kevin Millwood silenced the Dodgers' bats for six frames before a mild right groin strain forced him from the game, but five relievers followed up in fantastic fashion as Seattle tied the Major League mark for pitchers employed in a no-hitter.

    1.8%
  • Mowtown
    ND, 7 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 K, Sept. 27 vs. KC

    Doug Fister finished 2012 with the third-most strikeouts on his own team, but he still ended up setting the AL mark with nine consecutive K's during his penultimate regular-season start.

    1.2%
  • Oddity of the Year Nominees

    The season's most curious moments
    View past winners
    Oddity of the Year

    2011 Ryan Braun (stumbles around 3rd)
    2010 Roy Oswalt (plays left field)
    2009 Phillies father-daughter (girl throws ball back)
    2008 Johnny Damon (ball stuck on fence)
    2007 Cameraman
    2006 Sean Casey (thrown out at first)
    2005 Pedro Martinez (sprinkler)
    2004 Jason Michaels (bobbles HR)
    2003 Ozzy Osbourne ('Take Me Out to the Ballgame')
    2002 Mark Grace (relief effort)
  • Winner

    Michael Morse hit a high drive that started as a single and an out and ended with the Majors' first pantomime grand slam of the season. But in order to gain credit for the bases-loaded long ball, the slugger had to backtrack his way to the batter's box.

    19.4%
  • What a relief
    May 6 at BOS

    Designated hitter Chris Davis was able to breathe a sigh of relief after going 0-for-8 at the plate in a 17-inning marathon game, walking off the field as the improbable winner after tossing two innings of shutout ball at Fenway Park.

    17.2%
  • "Teddy Roosevelt" had lost 525 straight races at Nationals Park, but the nine-foot likeness of the United States' 26th president finally made history with a season-finale win that came after a little "push" from a trim Phillie Phanatic.

    16.2%
  • When Jeff Francoeur needs sustenance, he doesn't like to wait. So when he found himself face to face with a cornucopia of delicious buttery popcorn in the hands of a fan at U.S. Cellular Field, he didn't hesitate to help himself.

    11.8%
  • Weekend with Bernie
    Sept. 1 vs. BOS

    The never-say-die A's kept cool during a heated run to October by doing a celebration dance called "The Bernie Lean." In early September, the team held a special day for actor Terry Kiser, who played "Bernie" in the "Weekend at Bernie's" movies that inspired the craze.

    9.2%
  • Giancarlo Stanton slugs a baseball arguably as hard as anyone in the sport. And during a May game, the masher's light-tower power temporarily disabled a panel on Miami's auxiliary scoreboard.

    7.8%
  • Water-bottle battle
    Aug. 29 vs. TB

    Elvis Andrus covered up a camera during a sideline report from Emily Jones, who in turn forced the Texas dugout to take cover from her water-bottle retaliation.

    7.6%
  • Changing of the garb
    Aug. 30 at HOU

    New man on the block Marco Scutaro, shipped to San Francisco during a midseason swap, took the field wearing the correct attire before curiously changing into the wrong jersey during the fourth frame.

    6.1%
  • Praying mantis delay
    Aug. 19 at WAS

    The Mets' game in Washington experienced a momentary delay after a praying mantis ran onto the field. Security was not called, but a member of the grounds crew safely escorted the small visitor to an area where it could not bug ballplayers such as Scott Hairston.

    4.7%
  • Walk-Off of the Year Nominees

    The season's greatest game-ending moments
    View past winners
    Walk-Off of the Year

    2011 Evan Longoria (HR clinches playoff berth)
  • Winner

    Chipper Jones' final big league homer was one of his most clutch, as the eight-time All-Star slugged a Jonathan Papelbon pitch over the wall for a walk-off win that helped spur Atlanta's strong September run to the postseason.

    24.4%
  • Staring into the possibility of a deadlocked AL East, Raul Ibanez kept destiny in his team's hands with a pinch-hit two-run homer in the ninth inning and added the game-winning hit three innings later as the Yankees beat Boston in 12 innings.

    17.8%
  • Free to celebrate
    Sept. 25 vs. MIA

    One year after hitting into a season-ending double play, Freddie Freeman homered his way into baseball lore by joining a short list of men who clinched a playoff berth for their club with a walk-off long ball.

    13.7%
  • From Babe Ruth to Stan Musial to Mickey Mantle, no masher in history has as many career walk-off homers as Jim Thome, who raised the big league bar with his 13th game-ending roundtripper in June. The slugger also tied Sammy Sosa for seventh on the sport's all-time long-ball list with the opposite-field shot.

    12.5%
  • Mere days before the A's took the AL West title from Texas in the regular-season finale, Brandon Moss mashed a mammoth 10th-inning shot that sealed Oakland's big league-best 14th walk-off win in 2012.

    10.5%
  • Baltimore, which won one-run games at a higher clip than any club in modern history, walked off against the Rays for the second time in two days when Manny Machado's sinking line-drive single sent the O's into a frenzy during the 14th frame.

    6.6%
  • With his team trailing Toronto during the game's 13th frame, an under-the-weather Josh Hamilton stepped to the plate as the go-ahead run and crushed a two-strike offering over the center-field wall.

    5.5%
  • Adam Jones became the first man in the past 40 years with three game-winning homers during the 12th inning or later in one season. He did so twice on the road -- in the 17th in Boston on May 6 and during the 15th in Kansas City just 10 days later -- before walking off for O's fans in the 12th for a sweet summer victory.

    4.6%
  • Big leaguers have to battle just to make contact against flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman, but Asdrubal Cabrera connected on the closer's off-the-plate offering to walk the Indians off in extra innings.

    4.4%
  • Cut4 Topic of the Year Nominees

    The season's top-trending moments, as chronicled by Cut4
    View past winners
    Cut4 Topic of the Year

    2011 Diamondbacks fan (shows maturity)
    2010 Bo "The Bailer" Wydler (avoids foul ball)
  • Winner

    In the postgame one-liner heard 'round the world, Nationals 19-year-old Bryce Harper rebuffed a reporter who asked whether the wunderkind would be taking advantage of Canada's lower drinking age with a celebratory cold one.

    25.8%
  • Romobomb
    Oct. 14 vs. STL

    Erin Andrews was reporting during the NLCS when Sergio Romo stirred up a fun-natured "controversy" by dropping his signature "photobomb" move. No soul was safe from San Francisco's stopper, who also inserted himself into the picture during playoff reports with journalist Tom Verducci and teammate Matt Cain.

    18.6%
  • Make a memory that will last for years by giving a kid the green light to run on his favorite team's field. Add in a surprise second-base reunion with his military dad, and create a moment that will withstand the test of time.

    17.1%
  • A Cubs fan's best-laid plan went awry when his girlfriend left her seat before his scoreboard-assisted marriage proposal. Fortunately, the hometown team was kind enough to e-pop the question a second time.

    11.1%
  • After providing an assist on the ceremonial first pitch before a Padres game, A-list animal actress Crystal the Monkey waved to her fans before spending some time in the San Diego broadcast booth to read an MLB.TV promo.

    8.2%
  • The owner of a career 0-fer at the dish, a jubilant Justin Verlander managed to mash a moonshot into Fenway Park's Monster Seats during a Detroit batting-practice session in the spring.

    5.6%
  • In memory of MCA
    May 4 vs. ARI

    After Beastie Boys co-founder Adam Yauch -- nom de rap MCA -- tragically lost his battle with cancer, the Mets paid a collective tribute by modifying their at-bat music playlist to reflect a running lineup of his group's greatest hits.

    4.9%
  • The adage "love knows no distance" was in full effect when a couple celebrated 50 years together by trekking 1,200 miles to Toronto for their long-overdue Blue Jays-game debut.

    3.7%
  • 1912 in 2012
    June 2 CHC at SF

    Two of baseball's most-storied franchises took the field for a "Turn Back the Century Game" in San Francisco, as the "New York" Giants and Chicago Cubs commemorated 1912 during a matinee played without modern amenities.

    3.4%
  • As part of a pregame ceremony that recognized the inaugural Minnesota Aerospace and Aviation Week, Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau became the first players in history to have their signatures shot into Earth's stratosphere.

    1.5%
  • Postseason Moment Nominees

    October's most memorable snapshots
    View past winners
    Postseason Moment

    2011 David Freese (game-tying triple)
    2010 Roy Halladay (no-hitter)
    2009 Johnny Damon (takes 3rd)
    2008 Chase Utley (heads-up fake in World Series)
    2007 J.D. Drew (grand slam)
    2006 Endy Chavez (robs Rolen)
  • Winner
    Ibanez hits two huge homers
    ALDS Game 3 vs. BAL

    The moment started when manager Joe Girardi stripped the bat out of Alex Rodriguez's hands and instead trusted Raul Ibanez to crank one deep into the night. The decision proved to be a smart move by the skipper, as Ibanez crushed a game-tying homer in the ninth inning and then blasted a walk-off long ball in the 12th.

    37.2%
  • Sandoval's homer trifecta
    World Series Game 1 vs. DET

    Pablo Sandoval possesses Babe Ruth's build, Reggie Jackson's flair and Albert Pujols' formidable presence at the plate. And in World Series Game 1, he joined them in baseball lore when he became the fourth player to mash three long balls in a single Fall Classic contest.

    36.3%
  • The Cardinals stunned the Nationals with four two-out, ninth-inning runs to complete postseason history's largest comeback in a winner-take-all game. After the Redbirds overcame a 6-0 deficit, Pete Kozma -- whose future with the club had been uncertain two months prior -- hit a two-run single to put St. Louis on top for good.

    11.0%
  • Marco Scutaro stepped to the plate during Game 4 of the World Series -- the first Fall Classic of his career -- and snapped a 3-3 tie with a two-out hit in the 10th. The Giants went on to win their seventh title after Sergio Romo struck out the side in the inning's bottom half.

    4.8%
  • With NLDS Game 4 between St. Louis and Washington tied in the ninth, Jayson Werth battled through a marathon at-bat before sending the series to a decisive Game 5 with a walk-off long ball on the 13th pitch he saw.

    4.0%
  • Crisp's walk-off hit
    ALDS Game 4 vs. DET

    Wanting to extend a storybook season that resulted in Oakland's first postseason trip in six years, Coco Crisp delivered a walk-off single that sent the A's to a decisive ALDS Game 5 vs. the eventual pennant-winning Tigers.

    3.4%
  • Highlight at home
    World Series Game 2 vs. DET

    With the Tigers smelling their first World Series lead, Detroit's Prince Fielder barreled toward home plate. He hit the dirt as the relay throw whizzed in to backstop Buster Posey, who applied the tag for the key out. The Giants would go on to record the first of two straight shutouts.

    3.2%
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