Not only is it the postseason, but it’s also awards season for Major League Baseball. On Thursday, Trey Mancini was named the American League Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News in a vote of players, managers and executives and in the Players’ Choice awards by major league players.
Ryan Mountcastle was named the American League Rookie of the Year in the Players’ Choice Awards.
Gold Glove finalists also were announced, but no Orioles made the list.
On Monday, Cedric Mullins was named one of eight outfield finalists for the Silver Slugger Awards.
Before the first two games of the World Series, the Los Angeles Angels’ remarkable two-way player, Shohei Ohtani, was feted by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred with the commissioner’s special achievement award, and former Orioles slugger Nelson Cruz was recognized for his humanitarian achievements in his native Dominican Republic with the Roberto Clemente Award.
These awards are all preludes to the four major awards voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America: Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and Most Valuable Player. The announcement of those awards come in the week of November 15th.
Recognizing Mancini’s courage for coming back from colon cancer surgery is great, and I’m delighted to see him win multiple awards for what he went through. It would be even greater if all these awards were handed out in one night.
Before the pandemic, there was discussion of the four BBWAA awards being televised and presented during the General Managers’ meetings in November, but that was tabled.
That was a great idea. Even better would be presenting the BBWAA awards, the Silver Sluggers, the Gold Gloves and the special awards to Ohtani and Cruz in a single night.
The major BBWAA awards, which are voted on at the conclusion of the regular season aren’t announced until six weeks later. Wouldn’t it be more fun to see them as part of an announcement during the World Series when more people are paying attention?
If the awards were part of a television show on the night between Game 2 and Game 3 of the World Series, it might get even more attention than it does now.
Logistics would be difficult because it wasn’t until last Saturday’s National League Championship Series was decided that the World Series schedule was set. If you could have finalists for the awards present, that would be great. If members of the World Series participants were finalists for the awards, that would be even better for the game.
Return of the fan: For the first time in more than 10 years, I attended a game as a fan this week. Along with my cousin, Stephanie Dubroff-Acosta, I went to Game 2 of the World Series at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.
Stephanie made the call of the night when she, a former restauranteur, insisted we had to eat at Killen’s Barbecue stand in the upper right-field stands. The sliced beef sandwiches were outstanding, and the next time I come when the Orioles play, I’ll have another.
It’s certainly different not watching a game from the press box. I was forever getting up, letting other fans pass, and I wasn’t seeing plays from behind home plate.
The experience was fun, and I found I was entertained by the Astros between innings on-field antics, featuring their mascot, Orbit. Because of the extra-long innings’ breaks during the postseason, a full rendition of “Deep in the Heart of Texas” during the seventh-inning stretch was played.
It might be another year or two before I cover another Orioles World Series game but, in the meantime, I did have a good time.
Remembering Bob Ferry: In 2021, we’ve again lost far too many influential sports figures in the Baltimore/Washington area. On Wednesday, Bob Ferry, the longtime general manager of the Washington Bullets, died at 84.
Ferry, an Annapolis resident, played the final five seasons of his career for the Baltimore Bullets, retiring in 1969. In the team’s final seasons in Baltimore, Ferry was an assistant coach and was named the team’s general manager in 1973, serving 17 seasons.
The Bullets won their only championship in 1978, and Ferry won two NBA Executive of the Year awards in 1979 and 1982.
Ferry became the second NBA executive to hire two different Black coaches, K.C. Jones in 1973 and Wes Unseld in 1988. Sadly, both Jones and Unseld died in 2020.
After leaving the Bullets, Ferry was an NBA scout. His son, Danny, spent 13 seasons as an NBA player and was general manager of Cleveland and Atlanta.
Ferry’s death was announced by current Washington Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr.