NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The 2012 season was great for the Nationals, as they won their first National League East title. On Tuesday, the year turned out even better as they won three GIBBY Awards.
Outfielder Michael Morse won MLB Oddity of the Year, while the Nationals were the MLB Storyline of the Year for going to the postseason for the first time in their history. In the MLB.com Cut4 Topic of the Year, outfielder Bryce Harper took home the honor for his reply after a reporter asked what his favorite beer was: "That's a clown question, bro."
Major League Baseball's A-listers won 2012 GIBBYs trophies -- the ultimate honors of baseball's awards season -- based on votes 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 21 categories. Individual honors went to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout hitter, breakout pitcher, comeback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.
GIBBY trophies were also awarded for the year's top play, hitting performance, pitching performance, walk-off and postseason moment, from MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.
Morse's oddity came in the first inning on Sept. 29 against the Cardinals. With the bases loaded, Morse hit the first pitch he saw from right-hander Kyle Lohse deep to the right-field wall. Morse thought he had at least a two-run double, but he ended up with a single after Ryan Zimmerman stopped at third, Adam LaRoche went back to second, and Morse was tagged out retreating to first.
Not so fast. Manager Davey Johnson argued the ball went over the wall for a grand slam. The umpires reviewed the play and overturned it. The umpires then had Morse reset the situation. Morse ran backward around the bases. When he reached home plate, Morse, without a bat in his hand, recreated the grand slam with a phantom swing, and proceeded to round the bases for his grand slam.
The Nationals were considered the top storyline of the year after going to the postseason under Johnson, who made a bold prediction during Spring Training that his team would finish in first place in the NL East.
It helped that the Nationals had one of the best rotations in baseball. Thanks in large part to Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez, the Nats finished with the best record in baseball.
Harper made his Major League debut and led the Nationals in runs scored and triples before winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award.