Angels tally 11 GIBBY nominations
After finishing the 2014 regular season with a 98-64 record -- the best record in baseball -- the Angels tallied 11 of MLB.com's Greatness in Baseball Yearly nominations, the most in the American League.
Major League Baseball's A-listers will take home 2014 GIBBY trophies -- the ultimate honors of the industry's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
Fans can vote as many times as they want through Nov. 21 at 8:59 p.m. PT by visiting mlb.com/gibbys, and winners will be announced live on the MLB Network and MLB.com on Dec. 6.
This year's GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 25 categories. Individual honors will go to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout hitter, breakout pitcher, bounceback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.
GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year's top regular-season play, outfield throw, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic, regular-season moment, postseason storyline, postseason walk-off and postseason play. Fans can watch these and more by accessing MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.
In the past several seasons, fans have cast millions of votes across the GIBBY categories, none of which is restricted to individual league affiliation. That's how you know the GIBBYs consider the best of the best.
All 30 clubs are represented among the award candidates, a fact many consider to be a testament to the competitive balance around the game.
The Halos had their fair share of magical moments and interesting storylines thanks in part to superstars Mike Trout and Albert Pujols and a dominant pitching staff.
The Angels have nominees in eight of the individual categories. Trout is up for MLB MVP and best Hitter. The center fielder, who played in his third straight All-Star Game, finished the season batting .287 with 36 home runs (third in the AL) and 111 RBIs (first in the AL), along with 115 runs scored (first in MLB).
The Angels also had plenty of standouts on the pitching staff, including rookie Matt Shoemaker, right-hander Garrett Richards, setup man Joe Smith and closer Huston Street.
Shoemaker, who led MLB rookie pitchers with 16 wins, finished the season 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA and is nominated as this year's top Rookie. Richards, who went 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA, had his stellar season derailed after tearing the patellar tendon in his left knee in August. He is nominated for best Breakout Pitcher.
Out of the bullpen, Smith is nominated as this year's top Setup Man with 18 holds, while Street is nominated as the top Closer after tallying 41 saves between the Padres and Angels.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia is nominated for Manager of the Year, his 15th with the Angels, and general manager Jerry Dipoto is up for Executive of the Year, his third with the organization.
The Halos had plenty of highlight reel plays during the season, including two that stuck out enough to be nominated for best Play and best Outfield Throw.
Back on Aug. 19 against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun robbed Brock Holt of a three-run shot by leaping up and into the Angels' bullpen to snag the ball.
"I got hops, dude!" Calhoun said after his first home run robbery in the Majors.
"I just kind of took a peek [at the wall]," he said. "The ball was up there for a while, so I had time to get back. I knew I was close. I actually didn't think I was going to hit the wall. I thought I was going to come in kind of short, but I came down right on it and made the catch."
Against the Royals on May 23 at Angel Stadium, Trout threw a perfect strike to David Freese, who proceeded to tag Nori Aoki at third base for a double play. Getting behind the baseball, Trout made the throw from right-center field.
Trout tallied another nomination for his walk-off home run against the Rays on May 15 in Anaheim. Stepping into the box against reliever Brad Boxberger with runners on the corners, Trout blasted his first career walk-off home run in a 6-5 Angels win.
"I just told myself to be calm and get a pitch to hit," Trout said after the game. "You live for the moment, you want to get that big hit for the team. It's an unbelievable feeling when you can help the team like that."
Not to be outdone, Pujols had an unforgettable walk-off home run later in the season that received a nomination. He managed to hit a solo shot against the Red Sox in the early hours of Aug. 10 to secure a 5-4 win in 19 innings. It marked the 11th career walk-off home run of Pujols' career.
The Angels slugger is also nominated for best Moment of the season after he homered twice in the Angels' 7-2 victory over the Nationals on April 22, becoming the 26th member of the 500-home run club and the first player to hit Nos. 499 and 500 on the same day.
"It's pretty special," Pujols said after the game. "To have almost 18,000 players wear a big league uniform, and to have only 26 players do this, it's pretty special."
The Angels season also had its fair share of unusual, quirky moments. Before his trade to the Indians, J.B. Shuck understood what it meant to smell success, enough to be nominated for best Oddity of the season. Leading off a game against the Tigers on April 18, Shuck fouled off a 1-2 pitch against Detroit's Max Scherzer, only to smell his bat after the ball flew into the stands. On the next pitch, Shuck proceeded to hit a home run.
Another odd, yet comical moment came before a Sept. 2 game against the Astros in Houston. Orbit, the Astros' mascot, took a fishing pole near Trout to go "Trout fishing", but things went terribly wrong when the Angels center fielder proceeded to steal the pole and turn the tables on the Astros' mascot. It is nominated as the top Cut4 Topic of the season.
Several categories -- Play, Oddity, Walk-Off and Cut4 Topic -- opened balloting with at least one nominee per club. After a week of voting, the four lists were trimmed to 10 finalists per group by a panel.