Gibson wins Negro Leagues Museum Award

Gibson wins Negro Leagues Museum Award

Gibson wins Negro Leagues Museum Award
PHOENIX -- The honors keep rolling in for Kirk Gibson.

The D-backs skipper recently won the C.I. Taylor Award, which is given out each year by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to the top managers in the National and American Leagues. Texas' Ron Washington captured the AL award.

Judging by the information sent out by the museum on Taylor, he and Gibson had much in common.

Taylor was known as a strict disciplinarian and great teacher, while a large part of the D-backs rise from last to first in the NL West has been credited to Gibson changing the culture of the clubhouse infusing more discipline while also teaching more fundamentals during Spring Training.

Taylor, who began a 19-year managerial career in 1904 with the Birmingham Giants, insisted that his teams travel first class and were well-dressed. Gibson required his players to wear coats and ties for most of the team's charter flights during the season.

"Obviously, that's a great honor," Gibson said of the award. "Like I've said before, though, this is not an award that I won, but it's a team award."

After back-to-back last-place finishes, the D-backs improved from 97 losses in 2010 to 94 wins in Gibson's first full year at the helm and lost in five games to the Brewers in the NL Division Series. The 29-game improvement was the third-best improvement in Major League Baseball since 1998, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Gibson was also named NL Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America and won the Manager of the Year Award from The Sporting News.

While he sounded appreciative of the acknowledgement, Gibson is quick to downplay it as well.

"I caution myself that it can be dangerous, because you don't want to let your guard down and feel like you've got everything handled or have everything figured out," he said. "It doesn't work that way. It scares me to death. I have to take this stuff with a grain of salt. I know that next year is going to be just as tough if not tougher. My thought process is already moving forward."

Gibson is the second D-backs manager to win the C.I. Taylor Award, joining Bob Melvin, who won it in 2007.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @dbackswriter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.