ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Mike Shildt, though he received three fewer first-place votes than Milwaukee's Craig Counsell, was named the National League Manager of the Year Tuesday night in balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Shildt, the first manager to win such an award without having played professionally, received 10 first-place votes to 13 for Counsell, but received eight more second-place votes than did Counsell. Shildt had 95 total points to 88 for Counsell.
Atlanta's Brian Snitker, the NL Manager of the Year last season, finished third. World Series champion manager Dave Martinez of Washington was fifth. Voting was done before the postseason, and Houston's A.J. Hinch, who took his team to the World Series, also finishing fifth.
At the All-Star break this season, Shildt's Cardinals were 44-44 but they went 47-27 the rest of the way to finish 91-71 and to bring home their first Central Division title since 2015. In Shildt's first full year as manager -- he took over in July, 2018 -- the Cardinals went from committing the most errors in the majors at 133 to the fewest at 66.
Minnesota's Rocco Baldelli, also managing his first full season in the majors, won the AL Manager of the Year award, edging Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees by 10 points, with both men garnering 13 first-place votes.
Shildt, whose mother, "Lib," died at age 85 last Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C., received in the news at a home in Jupiter, Fla., where he was surrounded by his girl friend, Michelle, and members of the Cardinals' coaching staff, who were in Cardinals camp for off-season meetings.
The last Cardinals manager to win the BBWAA's Manager of the Year was Tony La Russa in 2002 and before that, the only other Cardinals winner was Whitey Herzog in 1985.
Counsell's Milwaukee team didn't win a division title like those of Shildt and Snitker but he gained considerable support by keeping the Brewers' fire burning after they lost 2018 Most Valuable Player Christian Yelich on Sept. 10 when he went down with a broken kneecap.
In the midst of a winning streak that already had reached four games, the Brewers stretched that to seven and won 14 of 16 games to move into position to snag a wild-card berth before losing their last three games at Colorado.
In 2018, Counsell had finished second to Snitker after winning the NL Central.
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