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O's shine brightly in offseason awards spotlight

O's shine brightly in offseason awards spotlight

O's shine brightly in offseason awards spotlight
BALTIMORE -- As baseball's Hot Stove season begins to heat up with trade rumors and offseason rumblings, there's still plenty of time to relish 2011, with accolades from last season continuing to trickle in for the Orioles, who have taken home an admirable amount of hardware.

Despite a last-place finish in the American League East, the Orioles did have some strong individual performances, and arguably no one had a more impressive season than catcher Matt Wieters, who was named MLB.com's Player of the Year and Breakout Player of the Year for Baltimore. Reliever Jim Johnson took home Pitcher of the Year honors, and both Johnson and Wieters received votes in the Most Valuable Oriole race, voted on by local members of the media, an award which ultimately went to center fielder Adam Jones.

Wieters, who was a first-time All-Star this season, and right fielder Nick Markakis both received a Rawlings Gold Glove Award for the first time Tuesday. The Gold Gloves honor the best individual fielding performances at each position in the National and American Leagues -- as voted by Major League managers and coaches.

"Just to be considered in the same class as the top three or four defenders at your position is pretty special," said Wieters, who beat out Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski and Detroit's Alex Avila and ended the 2011 season tied for the lead among AL catchers with a .995 fielding percentage.

Team Awards 2011

The 25-year-old Wieters committed five errors, allowed one passed ball and threw out 37 percent of would-be basestealers to become the first catcher in Orioles history to win a Gold Glove Award.

Markakis had an equally impressive season in the field, and he earned an award that many around baseball have long thought to be well overdue. The owner of a career .992 fielding percentage, which ranks him first among active AL right fielders, Markakis finished the 2011 season with a perfect fielding percentage -- the first in franchise history for a player with more than 150 games played -- in 325 chances.

Markakis led the Orioles in games played for the fifth consecutive season and was joined by New York's Robinson Cano as the only players in the AL to appear in 155 or more games in each of the past five seasons. Since making his big league debut in 2006, Markakis' 72 outfield assists rank second in the Majors, behind only Jeff Francoeur's 84.

Asked if the honor was the highlight of his career so far, Markakis said the only other comparable feeling was playing as a rookie.

"[Winning a Gold Glove is] something I'll always remember, because you work hard and you go out there and give it 100 percent every day," said Markakis, who started a team-leading 160 games (including 157 in right field) and gutted out the final few weeks of the season despite a bone bruise in his lower abdomen.

Widely regarded as one of the game's best outfielders, Markakis' Gold Glove drought was thought to exist in part because of the way the previous years' balloting lumped together the outfielders in one category -- which led to center fielders dominating the honors. Balloting this season was divided by outfield position, which helped Markakis edge Francoeur and perennial winner Torii Hunter of the Angels.

And awards season isn't over just yet. The Orioles also have three players nominated for the annual Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Awards. Shortstop J.J. Hardy, who missed out on a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, is up for the "Comeback of the Year" in recognition of a season that saw him set a career high in home runs (30) after hitting just six in 2010. Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero is nominated for a special career achievement in a season he became the all-time hits leader for Dominican-born players, while Jones is also up for a "Defensive Player of the Year" GIBBY.

Individual honors will go to the top everyday player, starting pitcher, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout player, comeback player, defensive player, wow factor, manager, executive and postseason performer. GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year's best play, moment, performance, oddity, walk-off, fan moment and postseason moment from MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.

Fan voting on MLB.com ends Dec. 4, and you can vote up to 25 times per category. Winners will be announced Dec. 16 from 9-11 p.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.com.

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National Awards
MVPYearCy YoungYear Rookie of the Year Year
Brooks Robinson1964Mike Cuellar1969Ron Hansen1960
Frank Robinson1966Jim Palmer1973, 1975-76Curt Blefary1965
Boog Powell1970Mike Flanagan1979Al Bumbry1973
Cal Ripken Jr.1983, 1991Steve Stone1980Eddie Murray1977
    Cal Ripken Jr.1982
    Gregg Olson1989
       
Manager of the YearYear Rawlings Gold GloveYearSilver Slugger Year
Frank Robinson1989Brooks Robinson1960-75Eddie Murray1983-84
Davey Johnson1997Luis Aparicio1964, 1966Cal Ripken Jr.1983-86, 1989, 1991, 1993-94
  Paul Blair1967, 1969-75 Mickey Tettleton1989
  Mark Belanger1969, 1971, 1973-78 Roberto Alomar1996
  Davey Johnson1969-71Rafael Palmeiro1998
  Bobby Grich1973-76Melvin Mora2004
  Jim Palmer1976-79Miguel Tejada2004-05
  Eddie Murray1982-84Aubrey Huff2008
  Cal Ripken Jr.1991-92  
  Roberto Alomar1996, 1998  
  Mike Mussina1996-99  
  Rafael Palmeiro1997-98  
  Adam Jones2009  
       
Local Awards
Most Valuable OrioleYear Favorite New Oriole Year 
Chuck Diering1954Frank Robinson1966  
Dave Philley1955Tom Phoebus1967  
Bob Nieman1956Don Buford1968  
Billy Gardner1957Mike Cuellar1969  
Gus Triandos1958Pat Dobson1971  
Gene Woodling1959Bobby Grich1972  
Brooks Robinson1960, 1962, 1971Al Bumbry, Rich Coggins1973  
Jim Gentile1961Ross Grimsley1974  
Stu Miller1963, 1965Ken Singleton1975  
Frank Robinson1966-67, 1971Reggie Jackson1976  
Dave McNally1968Eddie Murray1977  
Boog Powell1969-70Don Stanhouse1978  
Jim Palmer1972-73Gary Roenicke1979  
Paul Blair1974Dan Graham1980  
Mike Cuellar1974Jose Morales1981  
Ken Singleton1975, 1977, 1979Cal Ripken Jr. 1982  
Lee May1976Mike Boddicker1983  
Eddie Murray1978, 1981-85, 1988Floyd Rayford1984  
Al Bumbry1980Lee Lacy1985  
Cal Ripken Jr.1983, 1988, 1990-91Jim Traber1986  
Don Aase1986Terry Kennedy1987  
Larry Sheets1987Mickey Tettleton, Phil Bradley1988  
Gregg Olson1989Gregg Olson1989  
Mike Devereaux1992Ben McDonald1990  
Chris Hoiles1993Dwight Evans1991  
Rafael Palmeiro1995-96, 1998Alan Mills, Rick Sutcliffe1992  
Randy Myers1997Jamie Moyer1993  
Delino DeSheilds2000Rafael Palmeiro1994  
Jeff Conine2001Bobby Bonilla1995  
Rodrigo Lopez2002Roberto Alomar1996  
Jay Gibbons2003Jimmy Key1997  
Miguel Tejada2004, 2006Sidney Ponson1998  
Brian Roberts2005, 2009Jeff Conine1999  
Nick Markakis2007Jose Mercedes2000  
Aubrey Huff2008Josh Towers2001  
  Rodrigo Lopez2002  
  Deivi Cruz2003  
   Miguel Tejada2004  
  Sal Fanano2005  
  Nick Markakis2006  
  Jeremy Guthrie2007  
  Adam Jones2008  
  Nolan Reimold 2009  

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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