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MLB Award Season: The Esurance Awards

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By Ryan Adams

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The MLB 2015 award season winds down with the annual Esurance Awards. On Friday night, plenty of hardware was handed out as moments, players, teams, and managers looked forward to taking home more accolades. Here’s the biggest highlights of Friday’s event:

“Best Play, Defense” – Blue Jays third basemen and reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson won for his leaping catch into the Tropicana Field seats in foul territory down the third base line vs the Rays back on June 24th.

“Best Play, Offense” – Blue Jays right fielder, Jose Bautista, won for his now infamous bat flip against the Kansas City Royals in Game 5 of the ALDS.

“Best Moment” – Royals first basemen, Eric Hosmer, scampered home from third to score the tying run in Game 5 of the World Series against the New York Mets.

“Best Starting Pitcher” – Cubs now reigning Cy Young winner, Jake Arrieta, takes home this award for 2015’s best starter.

“Best Call, TV” – Legendary announcer, Vin Scully, wins this one as the Dodgers walked off v the Texas Rangers on June 18 due to a balk by Rangers pitcher Keone Kela. Scully, true to form, “And hold everything, the kid balked!” The Dodgers would break a scoreless tie to win, 1-0.

“Best Call, Radio” – Back on May 31, pitcher Bartolo Colon came to the plate for the Mets having had just two hits all of 2014. With one swing of the bat, Colon bested that by doubling for his third hit of the season, prompting Mets radio voice Howie Rose to tout, “They’re timing Colon with a sundial!”

“Best Rookie” – The reigning NL Rookie of the Year, Cubs slugger Kris Bryant.

“Best player/fan interaction” – On May 30, the Pirates had just locked up a win when OF Andrew McCutchen walked over and gave his batting gloves to two fans causing quite the reaction from the youngsters.

“Best Fan Catch” – It was April 18 in a game pitting the Cubs and Padres against each other. It would be a Cubs fan, however, that would steal the spotlight as she caught a fly ball in her beer cup – and then proceeded to chug her frosty beverage with her souvenir still in place!

“Best Celebrity Fan” – Will Farrell wins this one pretty handily. The SNL alumni spent one day, 14 hours suiting up for 10 different ball clubs! He played every position on the field as well as coached third base and made a spectacular entrance in a helicopter! The entire 14 hours was aired on HBO entitled “Ferrell Takes the Field” and was all for charity.

“Best Performance” – Max Scherzer threw TWO no-hitters during the 2015 season for the under-achieving Washington Nationals. But of the two – the season finale against the future National League Champion, New York Mets, was the most impressive.

“Best Social Media Post” – On July 31, avid Mets fan, Jerry Seinfeld, had a tweet that read “A Cespedes for the rest of us” retweeted 13,000 times!

“Best Breakout Player” – Cubs ace, Jake Arrieta, takes home another one. He broke onto the scene in 2014 but after winning the Cy Young in 2015 and being essential to the Cubs playoff run, it’s no wonder Jake keeps hauling in the hardware.

“Best Bounceback Player” – Texas Ranger’s first basemen, Prince Fielder, takes home this award after having his 2014 season cut short by season-ending surgery only to come back with a 2015 campaign in which he hit .305 with 28 HR and 98 RBI for the AL West Champs.

“Best Defensive Player” – After taking home his first Gold Glove a few days ago, Rays centerfielder, Kevin Kiermaier, takes home another award for his stellar defense in just his first full year in MLB.

“Best Major Leaguer, Postseason” – Former starter-turned-reliever-turned-closer, Wade Davis, has become one of, if not the deadliest relief arms in baseball. He continued to prove it in the 2015 post-season for the World Champion Royals posting four saves, a 0 ERA, and 18 Ks in 10.2 innings of work.

“Best Everyday Player” – Reigning NL MVP, Nationals right fielder, Bryce Harper, took home this award Friday night. Harper posted a .330 avg, 42 HR, and 99 RBI at the tender age of just 22 years young.

“Best Major Leaguer” – But wait, there’s more! Bryce Harper adds yet another trophy to his expanding resume as he wins the top player award of the evening as MLB’s best overall star.

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