List of Bull League awards

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The Bull League recognizes a number of teams and players on a regular basis with a variety of awards and trophies as found in this listing of Bull League awards. Several awards are based on competitive play, such as the Bull Cup, awarded to the champion team of the final postseason series following a playoff. Some awards are based on votes cast by the general managers of the various teams, or are awarded by the Commissioner of the league.

Team awards

Bull Cup

    See article: Bull Cup

The Bull Cup is the trophy awarded annually to the team that wins the Bull Cup Championship Series, a best-of-seven game contest at the conclusion of each year's playoffs. The series is always between the winners of the Lake League Championship Series and the Metropolitan League Championship Series, who represent the best teams from the Lake League (LL) and Metropolitan League (ML).

The original cup trophy was a stainless steel bowl mounted on a wood base. It was originally called the Weaver Cup, after Earl Weaver, who loaned his name to the Earl Weaver Baseball game that was used to simulate the Bull League's games beginning in 1989. The league reorganized in 1991 and the trophy was renamed to the Bull Cup at that time. The cup was made by Ace Awards of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The cup was first awarded as the Bull Cup to the Chicago Knights, after they defeated the Boston Brawlers three games to one in the inaugural best-of-five championship series in 1991. Each year, the name of the winning team was added to a panel on the base of the cup.

As of 2019, the cup design has changed to a taller sports trophy on a smaller base, awarded to individual teams. The first three trophies were awarded to the general managers of the Ohio Oxen (2016), Montreal Metros (2018), and St. Petersburg Admirals (2019). No trophy was made for the 2017 champions, the Calgary Inferno, as there was no human GM (the team was "managed" by the game's AI).

Lake League Championship Trophy

    See article: Lake League Championship Trophy

The LL awards a championship trophy annually to the team that wins the Lake League Championship Series, a semi-final round of each season's playoffs that determines which team will represent the LL in the Bull Cup Championship Series.

The first team to win this award was the Boston Brawlers, who defeated the Ohio Oxen 3-2 in a best-of-five series in 1991. Like the Bull Cup, the original trophy was made by Ace Awards of Toronto. However, the physical trophy is no longer awarded.

Metropolitan League Championship Trophy

    See article: Metropolitan League Championship Trophy

The ML awards a championship trophy annually to the team that wins the Metropolitan League Championship Series, the second series in the semi-final round of each season's playoffs. The winner represents the ML in the Bull Cup Championship Series.

The first winners were the Chicago Knights in 1991, who went on to win the Bull Cup that year. They defeated the Nevada Speeders 3-1 in the best-of-five series. The physical trophy is no longer awarded.

Blue Rose Award

    See article: Blue Rose Award

The Blue Rose Award is a team award recognizing the team with the best overall batting average and best overall ERA in the same season. While modern baseball places less emphasis on the importance of these two statistics as a measure of a team's abilities, it is still an exceptionally rare feat for any team to achieve the top ranking in both categories, and thus the Blue Rose Award is only issued when a team qualifies at the conclusion of the season.

As a result, it has only been awarded 12 times since 1991. The Calgary Inferno have won the award the most times, claiming it in three seasons, 2000, 2002, and 2010.

The highest team batting average for a winning team was .294 (1995, Richmond Ravens), while the lowest was the 1992 Nevada Speeders, with .176. The best team ERA for a winning team was the '92 Speeders again with 0.62, while the 2003 Chicoutimi Cinquantes had the worst, with 4.11.

There is no physical trophy awarded for the Blue Rose Award

Player awards

Carl Simms MVP Award

    See article: Carl Simms MVP Award

The Carl Simms Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award recognizes annually the most outstanding non-pitcher in each of the leagues in the Bull League. Until 2017, pitchers also qualified for the award, and it was simply called the MVP Award. However, after the 2017 season, it was renamed to the Carl Simms MVP Award is honor of Carl Simms, a Hall of Fame player who won the award a record of six times throughout his career, first with the Chicoutimi Cinquantes, and then five times with the Nevada Speeders. At the same time, eligibility was restricted only to non-pitchers, however theoretically a "two-way" player (who both pitches and plays an offensive position) could qualify.

The first player to win the MVP award more than once was Seattle Salts center fielder Cola Classique, in 1991 and 1992. The first pitcher to win the award was Hall of Famer Jack Stevens in 1998, who then played for the New York Minutemen. Only once has the award been given to two players from the same league in the same year, and that was 1991 when it was won by both Classique and by California Tidals right fielder Yuri Yagaslov.

The league also awards a Batter of the Month Award to the top hitter in each league at the conclusion of each month during the season.

Sandy Koufax Award

    See article: Sandy Koufax Award

The Sandy Koufax Award recognizes annually the best pitcher in each of the leagues in the Bull League. It has been awarded since 1991, and relievers may qualify for the award, although none has ever won it. It is named for famed real-life Jewish left-handed pitcher Sandy Koufax, who played his entire career with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers and won the MLB's Cy Young Award three times, was the youngest player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the first to accomplish four no-hitters during his career. Regarded as one of the greatest modern era pitchers ever, he served as the inspiration for the Bull League's most prestigious pitcher award.

The pitcher who won the award the most times is Ricky Terrazas, who won it nine consecutive times between 2004 and 2012. Terrazas won it four times with the Chicago Pit Bulls while in the then American Eagle League, and followed that with five consecutive wins with the Montreal Metros in the LL. The award is voted by the general managers of the Bull League.

The league also awards a Pitcher of the Month Award to the top pitcher in each league at the conclusion of each month during the regular season.

Rookie of the Year Award

    See article: Rookie of the Year Award

The Rookie of the Year Award recognizes annually the best rookie player in each league in the Bull League. Both pitchers and position players may qualify. It was been awarded since 1992. Only two players have won the Rookie of the Year and the MVP in the same year, TJ Cyrus of the Chicoutimi Cinquantes (1993) and Scotty McLawson of the Montreal Metros (1995). In 2017, Jose Soto of the Anchorage Aces became the first player to win the Rookie of the Year in the same year as the Sandy Koufax Award. In 2005, Arturo Davila became the first relief pitcher to win both the Rookie of the Year and the Woodchuck Trophy, which recognizes the top reliever in each league, in the same year.

To date, only two Rookie of the Year winners have been admitted into the Hall of Fame, Always Rosy (1995) and Eric Tessier (2000). The award is voted by the general managers of the Bull League.

The league also awards a Rookie of the Month Award to the top rookie player in each league at the conclusion of every month during the season.

Woodchuck Trophy

    See article: Woodchuck Trophy

The Woodchuck Trophy recognizes annually the top relief pitcher in each league of the Bull League. While normally awarded to a "closer", a reliever who commonly finishes out a game and is usually awarded a save decision, any reliever qualifies. It has been awarded since 1991.

Bull Cup MVP

    See article: Bull Cup MVP Award

The Bull Cup MVP Award recognizes the top player in each year's Bull Cup Championship Series. Both pitchers and non-pitchers may qualify, and the first winner was pitcher Warren Spahn of the Chicago Knights in 1991. The first position player to win was Vick Brenner of the Chicoutimi Cinquantes in 1992. While usually awarded to a player from the team that wins the Bull Cup, in 2001 it was awarded to Edison Stratton, a shortstop from the losing Cinquantes, when the Nevada Speeders won the Bull Cup.

To date, only won player has won the Carl Simms MVP Award and the Bull Cup MVP Award in the same year, Orlando Garza of the Montreal Metros in 2018. Three winners of the Bull Cup MVP award are now in the Hall of Fame, Jim Sure (2003), Mike Lapi (2004) and Ricky Terrazas (2011).

League Championship MVP

Each year, the best player from each league's championship series is recognized with the championship series MVP award. Both pitchers and non-pitchers may qualify.

Elimination Round MVP

Each year, the best player from each league's two Elimination Round series is recognizes with an MVP award. Both pitchers and non-pitchers may qualify.

Bull League All-Star Game MVP

Each year, the top player from the Bull League All-Star Game is recognized with an MVP award. Both pitchers and non-pitchers may qualify.

Triple Crown

    See article: Triple Crown

The Triple Crown recognizes a batter who accomplishes the rare feat of a league batting title, home run title, and RBI title in the same season. In the case of pitchers, it recognizes the pitcher with the best ERA, most wins, and most strikeouts for their league in a season.

Only one batter to date has won a Triple Crown, and it is often regarded as unofficial. In 1992, a season shortened to just 15 games out of a scheduled 30, Billy Kidd of the Toronto Ducks won the Triple Crown with an average of .307, 6 HR, and 11 RBI, leading the LL in each of those categories. Since the league adopted the longer 80-game (and later full 162-game) length schedules in 1995, no batter has won it.

Pitchers have won the Triple Crown a total of seven times since 1991, including two pitchers (Ricky Terrazas and Jack Stevens, both Hall of Fame members) to have done it twice in their careers.

Platinum Glove Award

    See article: Platinum Glove Award

The Platinum Glove Award recognizes annually the top defensive player at each position, for each league in the Bull League. General managers vote and select the winners at the conclusion of each season.

Gold Crown Award

    See article: Gold Crown Award

The Gold Crown Award recognizes annually the top offensive player at each position, for each league in the Bull League. Until the adoption of the designated hitter rule in 2002, pitchers were also recognized. General managers vote and select the winners at the conclusion of each season.

Other awards

General Manager of the Year

    See article: GM of the Year Award

Since 2017, the general managers of the Bull League have selected from among their number the top general manager for each season. The first to win the award was Dylan Maccarone, who managed the Ohio Oxen. GMs may not vote for themselves.

Manager of the Year

    See article: Manager of the Year Award

Each year a top manager from each league is selected. General managers who also act as field manager may qualify.

References