Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Postseason walk-offs add drama to GIBBYS

MLB.com

The postseason is a stage for great moments and unexpected heroes. Every part of the game becomes magnified, which often leads to some extreme drama. For proof, look no further than this year's nominees for MLB.com's Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Award for Postseason Walk-off.

There were four walk-offs in the 2014 postseason, each one special in its own right. One home run evoked memories of the 1950s, while the other signaled the rise of a young second baseman. Mix in a walk-off bunt and an extra-inning knock, and you've got the makings of a tough vote for the GIBBY.

The postseason is a stage for great moments and unexpected heroes. Every part of the game becomes magnified, which often leads to some extreme drama. For proof, look no further than this year's nominees for MLB.com's Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Award for Postseason Walk-off.

There were four walk-offs in the 2014 postseason, each one special in its own right. One home run evoked memories of the 1950s, while the other signaled the rise of a young second baseman. Mix in a walk-off bunt and an extra-inning knock, and you've got the makings of a tough vote for the GIBBY.

Here's a closer look at the candidates:

The Giants had no shortage of amazing plays on their way to a third World Series title in five years, but Travis Ishikawa provided arguably the most important hit of all for San Francisco. He sent the Giants to the Fall Classic with a walk-off homer to right field in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals, an unforgettable moment reminiscent of the 1951 Giants, who clinched the pennant on Bobby Thomson's game-winning homer. For that, Ishikawa will be forever remembered in Giants lore.

Video: Must C Clinch: Ishikawa sends Giants to World Series

It's not every day you see a walk-off bunt in extra innings, let alone in October. But that's what happened in Game 3 of the NLCS. With runners on first and second and no outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco dropped a bunt and chaos ensued. Cardinals pitcher Randy Choate fielded the ball with relative ease, but fired wide of first base to allow Brandon Crawford to trot home with the winning run.

Video: NLCS Gm3: Giants walk off in 10th on throwing error

The Cardinals had a walk-off moment of their own in the NLCS, courtesy of second baseman Kolten Wong. In the bottom of the ninth in Game 2, Wong sent a 1-0 pitch from Sergio Romo deep to right, flipped his bat, pumped his fist rounding first base and tossed his helmet before being mobbed by his teammates at home plate. It was sweet redemption for Wong, who was picked off to end Game 4 of the World Series a year before.

Video: Must C Clutch: Wong wins it for Cardinals in the 9th

The Royals packed 29 years' worth of drama into their first postseason appearance since 1985, taking the baseball world on a wild ride to the World Series, and it all began with some heroics from Salvador Perez in extra innings to cap a huge comeback in the AL Wild Card Game against the A's. The catcher sent Kauffman Stadium into a frenzy with a walk-off single to left in the 12th inning. The hit gave Kansas City all the momentum it needed and the Royals never looked back on their way to the Fall Classic, sweeping both the AL Division Series and Championship Series.

Video: AL WC: Royals advance to ALDS on Perez's walk-off hit

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.

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 Play, Outfield Throw, Storyline, Hitting Performance, Pitching Performance, Oddity, Walk-Off, Cut4 Topic, Regular-Season Moment and Postseason Storyline, with video available via MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.

Over 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 testament to the competitive balance around the game.

Fans can vote as many times as they want until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday. The winners will be revealed live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Dec. 6.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.