Kirk Gibson wins NL Manager of the Year

Kirk Gibson, who directed the Arizona Diamondbacks in a worst-to-first season as winners of the National League West title, was voted NL Manager of the Year in balloting by the BBWAA.

Gibson, 54, placed first on 28 ballots and second on the other four of the 32 ballots, submitted by two writers in each league city, to score 152 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. He was the only manager in either league this year to be named to every ballot.

Of the other first-place votes, three went to runner-up Ron Roenicke, who led the Milwaukee Brewers to the NL Central crown, and one to third-place finisher Tony La Russa, who piloted the St. Louis Cardinals to the wild card berth and eventual victory in the World Series. Voting is done prior to the start of postseason play. In all, nine managers gained mention.

Gibson, a former outfielder who played on championship teams in Detroit and Los Angeles, was named manager of the Diamondbacks July 1, 2010 and had a 34-49 record as Arizona finished last in the NL West for the second straight year with 97 losses. In 2011, however, Gibson led the D-backs to a 94-68 record and the division title. Arizona pushed the Brewers to five games in the NL Division Series before losing the last game in extra innings.

Gibson became the second Arizona manager honored. Bob Melvin, now manager of the Oakland Athletics, won the award while with the D-backs in 2007. Gibson was also the fourth former winner of the Most Valuable Player Award to be honored later as a Manager of the Year. He was the NL MVP in 1988 with the Dodgers.

The others to do so: Frank Robinson, NL MVP in 1961 with the Cincinnati Reds and American League MVP with the Baltimore Orioles in 1966 and AL Manager of the Year with the Orioles in 1989; Don Baylor, AL MVP with the California Angels in 1979 and NL Manager of the Year with the Colorado Rockies in 1995, and Joe Torre, NL MVP with the Cardinals in 1971 and AL Manager of the Year with the New York Yankees in 1996 (tied with the Texas Rangers’ Johnny Oates) and 1998.

The voting:

2011 NL Manager of the Year

Manager, Team1st2nd3rdPoints
Kirk Gibson, Arizona Diamondbacks284152
Ron Roenicke, Milwaukee Brewers325292
Tony La Russa, St. Louis Cardinals121324
Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia Phillies1710
Fredi Gonzalez, Atlanta Braves44
Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants22
Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates22
Terry Collins, New York Mets11
Don Mattingly, Los Angeles Dodgers11