Ibanez wins Postseason GIBBY Award

It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that Raul Ibanez‘s performance in Game Three of the American League Division Series has netted him a 2012 GIBBY Award. The awards are based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

And the performance, just in case you missed it, was something for the history books.

With the Yankees down a run to the Baltimore Orioles in the bottom of the ninth, manager Joe Girardi did something that at the time seemed absolutely crazy. He pulled Alex Rodriguez to pinch hit Ibanez in his place.

The tension was high in the Stadium. If the move didn’t work out, people would be questioning the move for years to come. If the move did work out, Girardi would be lauded for his gusty call. Luckily for the Yankees and their fans, the move worked out, twice, because not only did Ibanez hit the game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings but he also came to bat in the twelfth inning and sent everybody wearing Yankee paraphernalia home happy with a game-winning walk-off home run.

People broadcasting the game couldn’t believe it, fans both at home and in the Stadium couldn’t believe it and I really don’t think the Yankees or Orioles could believe it.

So, congratulations to Raul Ibanez for his GIBBY award and a big thanks to him for those incredible moments. They gave Yankees fans something to cheer about in the postseason.

3 thoughts on “Ibanez wins Postseason GIBBY Award

  1. Mike

    I got chills down my spine reading this description as it took me back to that night in the bar (in Hoboken), the place just absolutely erupted in wild, drunken disbelief after Ibanez hit the game winner. But the thing that made it even more special to me was what Ibanez had just done a mere 10 days before in an important game against the Red Sox, the 2nd to last of the regular season.

    In a tight race with Baltimore, the O's had already beaten the Rays earlier in the night so that a Yankee loss would tie them going into the last game of the season. This seemed inevitable after James Loney tacked on a solo shot off of Soriano in the top of the 9th to make it 3-1 Sawx. But with Grandy on 1st and none out in the bottom of the 9th, Ibanez found himself down in a 1-2 count before going Homerun Style off of Andrew Bailey to tie it up. After the Yanx squandered great opportunities the rest of that inning, Ibanez finally took care of business himself with 2 outs in the 12th, walking off on an 0-1 pitch with an opposite field RBI single to win it and clinch the division.

    But no — twice is not enough, Ibanez said. Because the very next night after the ALDS tying HR/walkoff HR combo, the Yanx found themselves down 4-0 entering the 9th against Detroit. After an Ichiro 2-run HR, it was Ibanez's turn. Tex worked a walk to set the table for our man Raul, and Ibanez improbably delivered ANOTHER game-tying 2-run HR. Unfortunately this time, he wasn't able to complete the last part where he also wins the game, which was starting to become routine at that point given the state of the Yanx offense.

    I was right with Brien when they made the Ibanez signing in the preseason, questioning why another aging player was brought on with mediocre stats the year before who was not going to add value in the field. Besides what he did over the course of the season (which at times wasn't much, but he did have a hot early run that kept them afloat), he single-handedly won them an important game down the stretch to clinch the division, then to win a divisional series, and then almost a 3rd time to steal the 1st game of the ALCS in which he "only" tied it up when the Yanx were down to their last out.

    I don't expect another 3 games like this in any one single player's career, let alone within the span of 11 days, and for that, Raul Ibanez will always hold a special place in my heart.

    • Mike

      correction: Yanx didn't clinch til the final day, so Ibanez merely prevented them from losing the division with the possibility of a 1 game playoff. Still, it has to be one of the most remarkable set of events in a 3 game span where they were 2 playoff games and 1 important stretch run game.

  2. Rich7041

    Does he have an incentive in his contract for that one? I had to google that one. Thought it was named for Kirk Gibson or something. But I still can't believe that game. Too bad the postseason didn't have such a Hollywood fairytale ending for the Yankees.

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