HOUSTON -- The World Series champion Astros' season ended more than two weeks ago, and there has barely been a moment to take a breath.First, there was the World Series parade and rally at city hall. Next up was a week-long announcement of several prestigious awards, including the naming of
HOUSTON -- The World Series champion Astros' season ended more than two weeks ago, and there has barely been a moment to take a breath.
First, there was the World Series parade and rally at city hall. Next up was a week-long announcement of several prestigious awards, including the naming of Jose Altuve as the American League's Most Valuable Player.
:: 2017 MLB Awards winners coverage ::
The grand finale of awards season culminated on Friday with the big reveal of this year's Esurance MLB Awards. The Astros swept through myriad categories as the most nominated team in baseball. They also won the most awards, topping all 29 other clubs with seven.
• Esurance MLB Awards: Complete coverage
The Astros won the following categories: Best Major Leaguer (Altuve), Best Manager (A.J. Hinch), Best Executive (general manager Jeff Luhnow), Best Major Leaguer, Postseason (Altuve and Justin Verlander tied), Best Postseason Moment (Alex Bregman's walk-off hit in Game 5 of the World Series) and Best Fan Catch.
Also, a panel of MLB experts named the Astros as one of three winners of the Best Moment category. The Astros' sweep of the Mets in their first home games after Hurricane Harvey, and Hinch's uplifting speech to the crowd, earned them honors in that category.
• Altuve wins MLB Award for Best Major Leaguer
Altuve won best Major Leaguer after a regular and postseason for the ages. His regular season resulted in MVP honors; his postseason was one of the main reasons the Astros won the World Series.
• Justice: Altuve tops all as MLB's Best Major Leaguer
Hinch, in his third year as manager, guided the club to the franchise's first title. After a 101-win regular season, the Astros barreled through three of the most storied franchises -- the Red Sox, Yankees and Dodgers -- to capture the Word Series championship.
"I'd like to say thanks to the fans who voted me the Esurance Manager of the Year," Hinch said. "This is truly a special year for us and for our team. Thanks to our players, our coaches, our support staff, the front office who puts the team together.
"Group effort to get this done, and for the fans to vote me this, this is very special to me and special to my career."
• Call of Altuve HR by Buck, Smoltz nets award
Luhnow took over the Astros' front office efforts in the fall of 2011 with a rebuilding plan that came together right on schedule. In 2017, he compiled a roster that proved to be a perfect blend of young up-and-comers and veterans with strong October resumes. The acquisition of Verlander with just minutes to spare at the Aug. 31 Trade Deadline ended up being the difference-maker in what ended as a magical season.
• Verlander, Altuve named playoffs' finest
Altuve and Verlander appropriately tied for Best Major Leaguer, Postseason, after each dominated in his respective area of expertise.
Bregman's walk-off base hit in Game 5 not only gave the Astros a 3-2 lead in the World Series, but it also put to bed a five-hour, 17-minute affair that broke a 12-12 tie.
The Best Fan Catch award went to Kirk Head, who seized Yasiel Puig's home run ball in Game 5 from his sister-in-law, Sarah Head, and threw it back onto the field. Sarah hadn't exactly given her brother-in-law her permission to do so, but fortunately, the family members worked it out and ended the experience with no hard feelings. The Astros' 13-12 win probably helped.
"People have been noticing me around town and when we were in LA for World Series Games 6 and 7," Kirk Head said. "One of our customers said, 'You look familiar.' She said, 'that's the throwback guy.'"
As for the Best Moment award, while it may not grab the most headlines, it definitely carries the most emotion.
"The series with the Mets was really an inflection point in the season for our team because it solidified the relationship our players had with the city," team president Reid Ryan said. "A.J. going out and making the speech before the game, he spoke to what was on everybody's heart, both from a players' perspective and people in our community. I think it was the first step in the healing process that our city needed, and it gave us a lift all the way through the postseason."
The MLB Awards are an all-inclusive program, encompassing the top players and performances from both the American and National Leagues from Opening Day through the end of the postseason.
Voting led off with seven categories (Personality of the Year; Best Defensive Player; Best Play, Offense; Best Play, Defense; Best Performance; Best Fan Catch; Best Player-Fan Interaction) on Sept. 18 at mlb.com/awards, serving as the grand entrance of a program that unveiled the Best Call, TV/Radio; Best Major Leaguer, Postseason; and Best Postseason Moment categories following the Fall Classic's final out.
All information and statistics regarding the Esurance MLB Awards can be found at MLB.com/awards.
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.