Molina, Craig honored with GIBBY hardware
Catcher nabs defensive honor; first baseman wins top Postseason Moment
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The obstruction call heard 'round the world was celebrated again on Tuesday, as Allen Craig received a Greatness in Baseball Yearly honor after the Cardinals' finish to Game 3 of the World Series was voted top Postseason Moment of 2013. Also taking home a GIBBY was Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, once again voted the game's top defender.
It is the latest in a growing collection of defensive awards for Molina, who already snagged a Gold Glove, a Fielding Bible Award and a Wilson Defensive Award earlier this offseason. This defensive honor, however, is not league-specific, meaning voters considered him the best defensive player in baseball.
MLB's A-listers won GIBBY trophies -- the ultimate honors of baseball's awards season -- on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings. More than 10 million votes were cast by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
This year's GIBBY Awards featured nominees in 22 categories. Individual honors were also handed out for MLB MVP (Miguel Cabrera, Tigers), Starting Pitcher (Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers), Hitter (Cabrera), Closer (Craig Kimbrel, Braves), Setup Man (Mark Melancon, Pirates), Rookie (Jose Fernandez, Marlins), Breakout Hitter (Chris Davis, Orioles), Breakout Pitcher (Matt Harvey, Mets), Comeback Player (Francisco Liriano, Pirates), Manager (John Farrell, Red Sox), Executive (Ben Cherington, Red Sox) and Postseason Performer (David Ortiz, Red Sox).
Trophies were awarded for the year's top Play (Manny Machado, Orioles), Storyline (Pirates' season) Hitting Performance (Mike Trout, Angels), Pitching Performance (Tim Lincecum, Giants), Oddity (Todd Helton, Rockies), Walk-off (Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins), Cut4 Topic (Munenori Kawasaki, Blue Jays), and Moment (Boston Strong), with video available via MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.
GIBBY categories included players from both leagues and performances not only from the regular season, but also through the end of the playoffs, making them unique in singling out the best of the best.
All 30 clubs were represented among the award candidates. In fact, every team had multiple nominees in 2013 -- a testament to the parity of talent around the game.
Craig's walk-off tumble was one of 11 nominees for Postseason Moment of the Year. Also among the finalists were Carlos Beltran's walk-off hit in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series and his grand slam-robbing catch in the first game of the World Series.
But it was Craig who found himself front and center in one of the most bizarre finishes ever to a World Series game. Having just returned to the field after missing time with a foot injury, Craig got tangled up at third base trying to scamper home as the winning run in the ninth inning of Game 3 against the Red Sox.
After Jarrod Saltalamacchia sailed a throw into left field, Craig tripped over third baseman Will Middlebrooks. That slowed Craig down as he tried to score and kept him from beating the throw home. It didn't matter. Third-base umpire Jim Joyce ruled that Middlebrooks had obstructed Craig's path home, thereby allowing home-plate umpire Dana DeMuth to rule Craig safe.
It marked the first time in World Series history that a game had ended on an obstruction call.
There were 14 nominees for voters to consider for Defensive Player of the Year, but again, it was Molina who stood at the top of the class. Molina, one of four catchers in baseball history to be a six-time Gold Glove Award winner, caught 43.5 percent of attempted basestealers this year and led all catchers with 12 defensive runs saved.
In total, the Cardinals placed finalists in 14 of the GIBBY categories. They finished as one of six clubs to boast multiple award winners.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.