Kevin Cash makes history with 2021 AL Manager of the Year award originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Kevin Cash has successfully defended his American League Manager of the Year award.
The Tampa Bay Rays skipper was named AL Manager of the Year for a second straight season on Tuesday night.
Cash joins Bobby Cox as the only managers in MLB history to take home a Manager of the Year award in back-to-back seasons since it was first introduced in 1983. Cox won NL Manager of the Year with the Atlanta Braves in 2004 and 2005, meaning Cash is the first AL skipper to accomplish the feat.
The 43-year-old received 19 of the 30 possible first-place votes and 109 total points. Seattle Mariners skipper Scott Servais came in second with 71 points and Dusty Baker of the Houston Astros finished in third with 33 points.
In his seventh season as Rays manager, Cash steered Tampa Bay to a 100-62 record and a second consecutive division crown in an AL East that featured three other teams with 90-plus wins.
Despite consistently having one of MLB's lowest payrolls, Cash's Rays have won at least 90 games in each of the past three 162-game seasons. They went 40-20 (.667 winning percentage) in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign that Cash won his first AL Manager of the Year award in.
On the heels of a World Series appearance in 2020, the Rays lost in the 2021 ALDS to the Boston Red Sox.
Servais' runner-up finish comes after the Mariners nearly ended the franchise's now-20-year postseason drought with a 90-72 season, the club's best finish since 2003. The M's went an AL-best 31-17 over their final 48 games and finished just two games out of a wild card spot.
Meanwhile, Baker, who won NL Manager of the Year three times with the San Francisco Giants, helped the Astros reclaim the AL West title with a 95-67 record. Houston went 29-31 before losing in the 2020 ALCS in Baker's first season at the helm.
In the National League, Gabe Kapler of the Giants was named Manager of the Year.