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MLB Awards, Honors, and Trophies: All You Need to Know

From the World Series to the Gold Glove Award, all you need to know about every MLB individual and team award.

Team Awards

Just as every player in every league is striving to do, MLB players are all out to win the World Series. 

The championship of America’s pastime has been contested since 1903 between the champion teams of the American League and the National League is a seven-game series, making it unique from some popular sports like the NFL. The winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy.

Given how the first half of the 2023 MLB season played out, and argument could certainly be made that the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves are on a collision course for the 2023 World Series. 

They’re currently the two betting favorites to do so, with the Braves listed at +250 odds and the Rays coming in at a +475 price.

American/National League Champion

Prior to the World Series is the Championship Series for both the American League and National League. 

With the MLB’s 30 teams separated in half between the two leagues, a champion is crowned for the team that represents their respective league in the World Series. 

So, although there has to be a loser of the ultimate series of the year, that team will still have the title of champion of either the American or National League.

Individual Awards

The team awards are the ones that are much more straightforward, as they are the same as the games we watch every day. However, there are far more individual honors earned, so let’s dive into those.


One award that is common between nearly all sports in the most valuable player (MVP) award. It’s just as it sounds - it is awarded to the player that is deemed to be the best in that specific season. 

For the MLB, there are two MVPs awarded, one for the AL and one for the NL. Right now, there are clear favorites for both leagues - Shohei Ohtani in the AL (-550) and Ronald Acuna Jr. in the NL (-350).

Current Winners:

AL: Aaron Judge
NL: Paul Goldschmidt

AL/NL Cy Young

The first MLB award that is unique to baseball is the Cy Young award. 

It’s similar to that of the MVP award but is more specified. That is because it is awarded to the best pitcher. 

Again, there is one awarded for both the AL and NL each year. So, with pitchers having their own award, that is why we don’t see them named MVPs as often as you may think.

Current Winners:

AL: Justin Verlander
NL: Sandy Alcantara

AL/NL Rookie of the Year

Next up is an honor that is as straightforward as it sounds. Both the AL and NL award a trophy to a player in his rookie season that is deemed to be the best. 

In other words, this could be thought of as the MVP of rookies. This is often a great indicator of future success, as Acuna Jr. is a prime example of a past winner who may also win an outright MVP award.

Current Winners:

AL: Julio Rodriguez
NL: Michael Harris

AL/NL Manager of the Year

A derivative of the previous award is another one that can be thought of as an MVP for a specific subcategory. 

However, the term ‘player’ is instead replaced for manager. This is often awarded to the manager of a team that turns a team around from the previous season, or perhaps had their team perform far above expectations. 

Like many MLB honors, there is one awarded in both the AL and NL.

Current Winners:

AL: Terry Francona
NL: Buck Showalter

All-MLB Team

Often confused with the All-Star Team, the All-MLB Team is considered more prestigious. 

Rather than being fan-voted a primarily light-hearted and fun event like the All-Star Game, the All-MLB Team features a first and second team of the best players at each specific position. 

This honor combines both the AL and NL, making it even more difficult and noteworthy to be a part of.

World Series MVP

An award that ties in both team and individual awards is the World Series MVP. 

While there is an MVP awarded for both the AL and NL based on season-long accomplishment, there is one awarded based solely on the performance within a World Series. 

That means there is not one awarded to both leagues, and instead is earned by the best player in the Fall Classic.

Gold Glove

The first of two medal and alliteration-based awards is the Gold Glove. This is awarded to players who excel in the field. 

Whether that be making diving stops at third base or leaping over the wall to rob a home run in the outfield, these fielders are the ones that fill up the highlight reels and make those famous ‘Web Gems’ plays.

Silver Slugger

Following the Gold Glove is an honor that could be considered reciprocal. That would be the Silver Slugger, which rather than being awarded to a field, is awarded to players who excel at the plate. 

Whether for their home-run power or consistency, it can be boiled down to simply stating that it is awarding to best offensive players at each position in the AL and NL.

Reliever of the Year

We outlined the Cy Young Award above, and there is another pitcher-specific award. 

While the Cy Young isn’t explicitly for starting pitchers, that is generally the case. 

So, there is another award for pitchers who come out of the bullpen, whether it be a set-up man or a closer. For this honor, there is one reliever awarded in the AL and NL.

Lou Gehrig Award

Here is where we start getting into honors that are not quite as straightforward as their namesake. 

However, if you’re familiar with the player they are named after, then you may have a better idea. 

For the Lou Gehrig Award, it is earned by the player who demonstrates the character of Gehrig, whether it be through helping kids in need or helping teenagers avoid drug addiction.

Current Winner: Salvador Perez

Hank Aaron Award

Another player-named award comes by way of who has long been thought of as the Home Run King. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it is awarded to the best overall offensive performer in the AL and NL. Unlike the Silver Slugger awards, there is just one for each league.

Roberto Clemente Award

Finally, the Roberto Clemente Award is one that is as prestigious as it gets. This honor is earned by the player who represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character. 

That includes things such as sportsmanship, community involvement, philanthropy and overall positive contributions.

 Current Winner: Justin Turner

How and When are MLB Awards Announced?

It depends on the exact award, but many of the honors are decided by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). 

They are then announced over a month-long period following the World Series beginning in mid-November.

Who Has the Most MLB Awards?

It’s always fun to take a look at who holds the most honors for specific awards. With that in mind, we’ve listed a few of the most popular below:

Most MVPs: Barry Bonds (7)
Most Cy Youngs: Roger Clemens (7)
Most World Series MVPs: Sandy Koufax (2), Bob Gibson (2) and Reggie Jackson (2)
Most Gold Gloves: Greg Maddux (18)
Most Silver Sluggers: Barry Bonds (12)

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