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Pirates’ Hurdle wins NL Manager of the Year award
Hurdle was a runaway winner, selected first on 25 of 30 ballots from a Baseball Writers' Association of America panel. Don Mattingly of the Los Angeles Dodgers came in second and Fredi Gonzalez of the Atlanta Braves finished third.
After that, they endured a record 20 straight losing seasons _ the longest drought in any of the four major professional sports _ before going 94-68 this year to capture an NL wild card.
Riding a wave of excitement from a rejuvenated fan base in a city finally enthralled by baseball again, Pittsburgh beat the Cincinnati Reds in the wild-card game before losing to league champion St. Louis in a division series that went the full five games.
“I said it’s the greatest coaching opportunity in all of sports _ the opportunity to be part of a select group of men and women that re-bond a city with a ballclub,” Hurdle said. “Three years almost to the day that I said it, it’s starting to happen.”
Hurdle was chosen second on the other five ballots and was the only manager picked on every one. He had 140 points in the 5-3-1 scoring system to 68 points for Mattingly, who received two first-place votes after leading the Dodgers to the NL West title.
Gonzalez got three first-place votes and finished with 43 points.
Mike Matheny of the Cardinals was the only other skipper to appear on a ballot. He was tabbed second by four voters and third by seven.
By Tammy Bruce
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