Rocco Baldelli, 38, is the youngest manager in Major League Baseball history to win a Manager of the Year Award. Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals and Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins each earned 2019 Manager of the Year honors.
Shildt won the award for the National League and Baldelli claimed American League honors Tuesday. Shildt -- who led the Cardinals to a 91-71 record in 2019 -- is the first manager without prior playing experience to win the award. Baldelli led the Twins to a 101-61 record in his first season as manager.
Baldelli finished with the same number of first-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America as New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone, but the Twins skipper received more second-place votes. He is the youngest manager to ever win the award, at 38 years old.
Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell received 13 first-place votes, compared to Shildt's 10, but the Cardinals manager received more than double the amount of Counsell's second-place votes.
"This is an organizational award, a team award," Shildt told MLB Network. "My job is not to win an individual award. My job is for us to win team awards and then help players win their individual awards for their families and their careers, getting the most out of their God-given abilities.
"But I accept it graciously on behalf of our players and our staff and our front office and ownership. It's an amazing blessing."
The World Series champion Washington Nationals swept Shildt's Cardinals in the 2019 National League Championship Series. The New York Yankees swept Baldelli's Twins in the 2019 American League Division Series. Baldelli is the eighth rookie manager to win the award.
Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin, Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch and Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona rounded out the top-five vote getters for the American League. Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Nationals manager Dave Martinez finished behind Shildt and Counsell in National League voting.
"Nobody takes on the responsibility of working in baseball or doing a job like this for personal accolades," Baldelli said. "You take these types of roles because you want to do everything you can for your group."
American League and National League Cy Young Award winners will be announced during a 6 p.m. EST broadcast Wednesday on MLB Network.