Four-homer game nets Hamilton GIBBY Award

Four-homer game nets Hamilton GIBBY Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- On May 8, a warm humid night at Camden Yards, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton put on a hitting display that was one of the greatest in baseball history.

Hamilton hit four home runs and a double in leading the Rangers to a 10-3 victory over the Orioles. When it was over, his teammates were in awe of what Hamilton had accomplished.

"The best individual performance I have ever seen," infielder Michael Young said in the visiting clubhouse. "I've never seen anything like. It was fun to be a part of. He's an incredible player."

"What a night. ... Amazing," manager Ron Washington said. "A perfect night for Hamilton and a perfect night for the Texas Rangers."

Hamilton's night has earned him a Greatness in Baseball Yearly Award for the MLB Hitting Performance of the Year.

"Obviously, other than the World Series, it's the highlight of my big league career," Hamilton said afterward. "I never hit three before in a game. When I did that, it was like what a blessing. To hit four is an awesome feeling."

Hamilton was the 16th player in Major League history to hit four home runs and the seventh to hit five extra-base hits. The 18 total bases set an American League record.

"You don't go out and try to do that," Hamilton said. "You just try to do the best you can, and if you break a record, great. You don't try to do that, you try to be the best player you can be for yourself and your team."

Major League Baseball's A-listers won 2012 GIBBYs trophies based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and 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 Hitter, Breakout Pitcher, Comeback Player, Defensive Player, Manager and Postseason Performer.

GIBBY trophies were also awarded for the year's Top Play, Storyline, Pitching Performance, Oddity, Walk-off, Cut4 topic and Postseason Moment, from MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.

"When you do something incredible, it takes time to sink it," Hamilton said. "When I get away from it and have time to think about, it will sink it. But all I can think about now is what a blessing. To be in this kind of company is awesome."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.