Well folks, we can no longer say that nothing happened for the Toronto Blue Jays on day two of baseball’s Winter Meetings. As we learned on Tuesday that free agent infielder and Toronto Blue Jays fan favorite, Munenori Kawasaki was named the winner of the 2013 Gibby Award for Cut4 Topic of the Year. The awards were announced via an official release by Major League Baseball on MLB.com.
Kawasaki’s moment in the sun came on May 26th, when after a walk-off two-run double off of Orioles closer Jim Johnson, Kawasaki stamped his place in Blue Jays lore with the most unforgettable postgame interview in recent memory. If you missed the speech for some reason or another, perhaps because you were living under a rock at the time, here is the clip.
Despite hitting just .229/.326/.308 for the Blue Jays in 96 games for the Blue Jays, he was worth 1.3 wins above replacement according to Baseball-Reference. However, it was his free spirit that made Kawasaki an instant cult hero in Toronto. From his strange pre-game routines to his bowing to teammates, Munenori Kawasaki carved himself an indelible place in the hearts of fans across Canada.
Whether he is back in Toronto or not in 2014, Kawasaki is a character we will never forget.