SAN FRANCISCO -- Four Giants captured prestigious MLB.com Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Awards, reflecting the quality and excitement of the events that brought San Francisco its third World Series title in five seasons.
Giants recipients were left-hander Madison Bumgarner, Postseason Most Valuable Player; first baseman/left fielder Travis Ishikawa, postseason walk-off; second baseman Joe Panik, best postseason play; and Bruce Bochy, Manager of the Year.
The winners were announced live during an awards show on MLB Network and MLB.com on Saturday night.
As the baseball world is well aware by now, Bumgarner worked a record 52 2/3 postseason innings. He yielded just six earned runs while becoming the first pitcher with at least two wins, a shutout and a save in the World Series since the save rule became official in 1969.
So impressive was Bumgarner that he nearly wrested the Most Valuable Major Leaguer GIBBY from his Los Angeles Dodgers counterpart, Clayton Kershaw. With voters instructed to consider postseason performances as well as regular-season efforts, Kershaw received 35 percent of the vote to Bumgarner's 34.4 percent. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout polled 30.6 percent of the vote.
Ishikawa slugged his way into history with his decisive three-run homer off St. Louis' Michael Wacha in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. The drive snapped a 3-3 tie in the ninth inning and gave the Giants a 6-3 triumph. It marked the first time that an NL player propelled his team into the World Series with a walk-off homer in a postseason game. (Bobby Thomson's fabled 1951 homer ended a three-game playoff against the Dodgers in what officially was a regular-season game.)
Panik fashioned the most breathtaking defensive gem of the World Series in the third inning of Game 7 when he dashed to his right, dove to snare Eric Hosmer's sharp grounder and flipped the ball to shortstop Brandon Crawford to start a double play.
Bochy became the 10th manager to guide a team to at least three World Series championships. The others are in the Hall of Fame: Casey Stengel and Joe McCarthy (seven titles apiece), Connie Mack (five), Joe Torre and Walter Alston (four each), and Tony La Russa, Sparky Anderson, John McGraw and Miller Huggins (three each).
Major League Baseball's A-listers won 2014 GIBBY trophies based on votes by broadcasters, reporters, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
This year's GIBBY Awards feature winners in 25 categories. Individual honors went to the Most Valuable Major Leaguer, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, everyday player, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout everyday player, breakout pitcher, bounceback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason MVP.
GIBBY trophies also were awarded for the year's top regular-season play, outfield throw, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic, regular-season moment, postseason storyline, postseason walk-off and postseason play.
In the past several seasons, fans have cast millions of votes across the GIBBY categories, none of which is restricted to individual league affiliation. That's how you know the GIBBYs consider the best of the best.
All 30 clubs were represented among the award candidates, which is a testament to the competitive balance around the game.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.