Bud Black hung on to win this race. Ron Gardenhire became a first-time Manager of the Year, too, after so many near misses.
A month after his San Diego Padres were knocked out of the playoff chase on the final day, Black nudged Cincinnati’s Dusty Baker by one point for the NL award Wednesday.
“I guess this vote was sort of like our season, it came down to the wire,” Black said on a conference call.
Gardenhire was the clear choice in the American League, earning the honor after five times as the runner-up. He led Minnesota to its sixth AL Central title in nine seasons.
Said Gardenhire: “It’s pretty neat to have your name mentioned up there.”
Black was selected after guiding San Diego to a 15-game turnaround despite the second-lowest payroll in the majors.
The Padres finished 90-72 and led the NL West until a late, 10-game slump. Gardenhire drew 16 first-place votes and 108 points, and was the only AL manager listed on all 28 ballots.
Ron Washington, who led Texas to its first trip to the World Series, was next in the AL with 10 first-place votes and 81 points.