After taking over in May, Jim Tracy wins Manager of the Year award

Jim Tracy, who took over the Colorado Rockies in late May when they were in last place and led them to the National League wild card, was named NL Manager of the Year in balloting by the BBWAA. It marked only the second time a manager hired in mid-season was honored. Tracy joins Jack McKeon, the 2003 winner with the Florida Marlins.

Tracy, 53, was listed first on 29 of the 32 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city and was second on two for a total of 151 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. No manager was named on every ballot.

The St. Louis Cardinals’ Tony La Russa, a four-time winner, received two first-place votes and finished second in the balloting for a record sixth time. The other first-place vote went to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joe Torre, a two-time winner in the American League. In all, eight managers gained mention.

Tracy was hired to replace Clint Hurdle as manager of the Rockies on May 29, when the club had a record of 18-28 and was 14 games out of first place. Colorado was 74-42 under Tracy and came within one game of the NL West-leading Dodgers on the final weekend of the season before losing its final two games in Los Angeles and settling for the wild card.

La Russa, the NL winner in 2002, also won three times in the AL, with the Oakland Athletics in 1988 and 1992 and with the Chicago White Sox in 1983. His other second-place finishes in the NL with the Cardinals were in 2000, 2004 and 2005 and in the AL with the A’s in 1989 and 1990.

The voting:

2009 NL Manager of the Year

Jim Tracy, Colorado Rockies292151
Tony La Russa, St. Louis Cardinals213655
Joe Torre, Los Angeles Dodgers17733
Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants5318
Bobby Cox, Atlanta Braves3615
Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia Phillies2410
Fredi Gonzalez, Florida Marlins44
Bud Black, San Diego Padres22