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Headley's breakout season now includes GIBBY

Headley's breakout season now includes GIBBY

Headley's breakout season now includes GIBBY
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The offseason award haul continued for Padres third baseman Chase Headley on Tuesday, when he won a Greatness in Baseball Yearly Award (GIBBY) for MLB Breakout Hitter of the Year.

Last month, Headley finished fifth in the National League Most Valuable Player Award race. That was the highest finish in NL MVP voting by a Padres player since Adrian Gonzalez finished fourth in 2010.

Previously, Headley won his first Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger.

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And now he has his first GIBBY.

2012 GIBBY Award winners
Award Winner
MLB MVP Miguel Cabrera
Hitter of the Year Miguel Cabrera
Starting Pitcher of the Year R.A. Dickey
Rookie of the Year Mike Trout
Closer of the Year Fernando Rodney
Setup Man of the Year Sergio Romo
Defensive Player of the Year Yadier Molina
Breakout Hitter of the Year Chase Headley
Breakout Pitcher of the Year R.A. Dickey
Comeback Player of the Year Buster Posey
Manager of the Year Buck Showalter
Executive of the Year Billy Beane
Postseason MVP Pablo Sandoval
Play of the Year Mike Trout
Storyline of the Year Tie: O's season
Nats' season
Hitting Performance of the Year Josh Hamilton
Pitching Performance of the Year Matt Cain
Oddity of the Year Michael Morse
Walk-off of the Year Chipper Jones
Cut4 Topic of the Year Bryce Harper
Postseason Moment Raul Ibanez

Major League Baseball's A-listers won 2012 GIBBYs trophies -- the ultimate honors of baseball's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com, as well as the Society for American Baseball Research.

This year's GIBBY Awards featured nominees in 21 categories. Individual honors went to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout pitcher, comeback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.

Headley led the NL with 115 RBIs to go with his 31 home runs and .286 batting average. He finished the season on a roll, capturing the NL Player of the Month awards in August and September.

The home runs and RBIs were both career highs for Headley, who is under team control through the 2014 season.

With those torrid months of August and September, Headley became the first player in franchise history to drive in 30 or more runs in a month twice.

"There have been so many more opportunities," Headley said in October, of getting chances to hit with runners on base. "The second half has been incredibly enjoyable, especially being around these guys."

While his offensive numbers were already impressive, the fact that he compiled them while playing half his games in pitcher-friendly Petco Park makes them even more amazing.

"To have that [production] in San Diego, that's pretty amazing," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said in October. "He needs to be talked about a lot more than he has been. To have that kind of year, in that place? Phenomenal."

Headley's big outburst in 2012 was a major upgrade from the season he had in 2011, when he hit four home runs and knocked in 44 runs in 113 games.

During the past offseason, Headley worked on getting more loft on the ball and flew to Tennessee to work with new Padres hitting coach Phil Plantier.

"It's fun to watch a guy figure it all out and see him piece it together," Plantier said. "I don't see any reason why this isn't going to be normal production for him for the rest of his career. This is not a fluke. This is very real."

GIBBY trophies were also awarded for the year's top play, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic and postseason moment, from MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.

The Padres had three other GIBBY candidates.

Reliever Luke Gregerson was nominated for Setup Man of the Year. Gregerson was 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA and 24 holds in 77 appearances.

Shortstop Everth Cabrera was nominated for Play of the Year for a defensive gem he made in the hole against the D-backs, ranging far to his right into shallow left field and throwing out Justin Upton at first base from the grass.

In the Cut4 category, Crystal the Monkey -- famous for her parts in "The Hangover II" and "Animal Practice" -- was a nominee after delighting staff, coaches, players and fans during a visit to Petco Park.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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