MLB Network hit it out of the park on Monday night at the 31st Annual Sports Emmy Awards, coming home with four awards in a sterling debut showing.
The network, which was nominated for 12 Sports Emmys in its first year after launching on Jan. 1, 2009, won top honors in four categories, with three trophies for its signature show, "MLB Tonight," and legendary broadcaster Bob Costas' victory for Outstanding Sports Personality-Studio Host.
The awards, which are given annually by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, were announced during a ceremony at Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center in the Time Warner Center in New York.
"MLB Tonight" took home the Emmys for Outstanding Production Design and Art Direction, Outstanding Graphic Design and Outstanding Technical Team Studio, giving it three walk-off victories to cap a memorable rookie campaign. The show also was nominated for Outstanding Daily Studio Show.
And Costas, host of "MLB Network's Studio 42 with Bob Costas," made it an even 20 Emmys in his distinguished career with his nod. His show also was nominated in the category of Outstanding Studio Show-Weekly.
"There has never been a start-up that has come out of the blocks like MLB Network," Costas said upon accepting his award.
Former big league pitchers Al Leiter and Jim Kaat scored nominations, too. Leiter was acknowledged in the Outstanding Sports Personality-Studio Analyst category, and "Thursday Night Baseball" analyst Kaat received a nomination for Outstanding Sports Personality-Sports Event Analyst.
MLB Network also received nominations for the George Wensel Technical Achievement Award for Ballpark Cam and Enhanced Digital Recreation/Reenactment.
Ballpark Cam is a series of robotic cameras placed throughout stadiums across the Major Leagues and is controlled by operators at MLB Network in Secaucus, N.J.
The Enhanced Digital Recreation/Reenactment entry was a series of vignettes produced by MLB Network that interspersed footage of classic moments in baseball history with reenactments shot to complement the footage.
MLB Network earned two more nominations in the category of Outstanding Edited Sports Special, with its own "Incident at Candlestick" earning one and a co-production with MLB Productions titled "Josh Hamilton: Resurrecting the Dream" garnering the other.
"We are honored to be recognized by our peers in the industry for the programming, production and on-air talent featured during MLB Network's first year," said Tony Petitti, MLB Network president and chief operating officer.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.