In Major League Baseball, the Manager of the Year Award is an honor given annually since 1983 to the best managers in the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). The winner is voted on by 30 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Each places a vote for first, second, and third place among the managers of each league. The manager with the highest score in each league wins the award.
Several managers have won the award in a season when they led their team to 100 or more wins. Lou Piniella won 116 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2001, the most by a winning manager, and Joe Torre won 114 with the New York Yankees in 1998. Sparky Anderson and Tony La Russa finished with identical 104–58 records in 1984 and 1988, respectively. Three National League managers, including Dusty Baker, Whitey Herzog, and Larry Dierker, have exceeded the century mark as well. Baker's San Francisco Giants won 103 games in 1993; Dierker's 1998 Houston Astros won 102 and Herzog led the Cardinals to 101 wins in the award's third season.
In 1991, Bobby Cox became the first manager to win the award in both leagues, winning with the Atlanta Braves and having previously won with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1985. La Russa, Piniella, Jim Leyland, Bob Melvin, Davey Johnson, and Joe Maddon have since won the award in both leagues. Cox and La Russa have won the most awards, with four. Baker, Leyland, Piniella, Showalter and Maddon have won three times. In 2005, Cox became the first manager to win the award in consecutive years. Jeff Banister and Joe Maddon are the most recent winners.
Because of the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike cut the season short and cancelled the post-season, the BBWAA writers effectively created a de facto mythical national championship (similar to college football) by naming managers of the unofficial league champions (lead the leagues in winning percentage) (Buck Showalter and Felipe Alou) as Managers of the Year. Two franchises, the New York Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers, have not had a manager win the award.
Only six managers have won the award while leading a team that finished outside the top two spots in its division. Ted Williams was the first, after leading the "expansion" Washington Senators to a third-place finish (and, at 86-76, their only winning season) in the American League East, in 1969. Buck Rodgers won the award in 1987 with the third-place Expos. Tony Peña and Showalter won the award with third-place teams in back-to-back years: Peña with the Royals in 2003, and Showalter with the Rangers in 2004. Joe Girardi is the only manager to win the award with a fourth-place team (2006 Florida Marlins); he is also the only manager to win the award after fielding a team with a losing record.
In 2016, Terry Francona was named American League Manager of the Year.