Rookie MLB skipper Matt Williams was named the National League Manager of the Year on Tuesday after leading the Washington Nationals to an NL-best 96 wins during the regular season.
Only three others have won a Manager of the Year award in their rookie season as a big-league skipper: Hal Lanier (1986 Houston Astros), Dusty Baker (1993 San Francisco Giants), and Joe Girardi (2006 Florida Marlins).
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America has awarded the honor since 1983.
In this year’s NL vote, Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (who won last year) finished second, and Giants skipper Bruce Bochy (whose team won the World Series this year) came in third.
All three of the top vote-getters in the National League played in the Midwest League.
Williams batted .240 with 7 HR and 29 RBI in 68 games with the 1986 Clinton Giants.
Hurdle batted .235 with 19 HR and 89 RBI for the 1976 Waterloo Royals.
Bochy batted .243 in 30 games with the 1976 Dubuque Packers.
In the American League, Orioles skipper Buck Showalter was named the top manager for the third time in his MLB career. He didn’t play in the Midwest League, but the two AL runners-up did.
Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia finished second after leading his team to an MLB-best 98 wins during the regular season. He batted .253 with 7 HR and 44 RBI in 121 games with the 1977 Clinton Dodgers.
Royals skipper Ned Yost finished third after leading Kansas City to its first postseason appearance since 1985. He batted .192 with 6 HR and 27 RBI in 79 games with the 1975 Wausau Mets.