Guiding a team to 101 wins and the best record in the American League couldn’t be ignored by voters in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Brandon Hyde was named AL Manager of the Year, with the news coming tonight on MLB Network. He was the only manager to appear on every ballot.
Hyde, a runner-up last year to the Indians’ Terry Francona, received 27 first-place votes and three second. The Rangers’ Bruce Bochy garnered the other three first-place votes and finished with 61 points.
The Rays’ Kevin Cash had 52, followed by the Twins’ Rocco Baldelli (eight), the Astros’ Dusty Baker (four) and the Blue Jays’ John Schneider (one).
Joe Maddon, a three-time recipient and close friend of Hyde’s, made the announcement. Hyde was on Maddon’s coaching staff when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016.
Hyde is the ninth Manager of the Year who didn’t play in the majors.
"It means our team had a really good year," he said on a video call with local media. "Just proud of what we've accomplished up to this point. This is definitely not an individual award. I don't look at it as that at all. I look at it as a team award. The entire coaching staff, really an organizational award for what we've done here in five years and what we've done here the last couple years.
"I thought we had a really special season, and to win 101 games in the big leagues is so hard to do. And how we fought for six months and continue to improve. I'm just really looking forward to next year already and just really proud of the year we had."
The Sporting News award has gone to Hyde in back-to-back years, an honor that comes from his peers.
The writers got it right tonight.
Hyde said he hadn't considered the number of first-place votes and how he won by such a large margin.
"Listen, those two guys that were up there as finalists, I have so much respect for," he said. "Kevin Cash is a great manager and is going to continue to be a great manager. And Bruce Bochy is Hall of Fame and somebody that I look up to as somebody I would like to be like someday. I'm just proud to be in that conversation, honestly. I'm proud to be on the same panel as guys that have done a lot of really cool things on this job."
Hyde completed his fifth season with the Orioles by leading them to the first division title since 2014 and first playoff appearance since 2016. They hadn’t claimed the top seed since 1997.
Hall of Famer Earl Weaver is the only other Orioles manager to win 100 games in a season, a total they hadn’t reached since 1980.
"I knew we were a good club, but I thought that when we went into Tampa (in July) and won three out of four kind of the way we did, looking back for me that was a little bit of a turning point for us, and how we won those games, too. Won three close games," Hyde said.
"I thought that gave our team a lot of confidence that we could go on the road against a first-place club that had been quite a bit ahead of us early in the year, but winning three out of four in a really tough place to play, that we have never played well there since I've been here, to win three games there, for me that was the turning point for us."
Hyde earned his 300th victory on Sept. 4 to join Weaver (1,480), Buck Showalter (669), Paul Richards (517) and Hank Bauer (407) as managers to achieve that milestone.
The rebuild is over, the “journey and long road,” as Hyde called it tonight. The rewards are just starting.
They seem more special after enduring so many defeats and the national ridicule. The last-place finishes and more darkness ahead that test a man's resilience and patience.
"During those years, I knew I had confidence that we were going to turn this thing around, but you struggle to see when, to see the light at he end of the tunnel, honestly," Hyde said. "Last year, there came a point where you saw a light at the end of the tunnel, where you could see that we were able to pitch against the teams we were competing against, that we were able to compete and win series. Really from June on last year, that was a huge turning point for this organization and our big league club.
"To come as far as we have, you look at the roster in '19 and '20, it's a lot of different players and a lot of homegrown guys and a lot of guys we've developed at the big league level, and so you feel good about that."
Showalter was the last Orioles manager to receive the BBWAA award in 2014. Davey Johnson won it in 1997 and Frank Robinson in 1989.
The Cy Young awards will be presented Wednesday night and Most Valuable Player awards Thursday night. The Orioles don’t have a finalist, but Kyle Bradish could receive votes for the former and Gunnar Henderson for the latter.
Henderson was chosen AL Rookie of the Year on Monday.
The Orioles also had multiple winners in 1989 with Robinson and Rookie of the Year Gregg Olson, and in 1973 with Cy Young recipient Jim Palmer and Rookie of the Year Al Bumbry.