Last month, Better Off Red polls opened for the prestigious Cincinnati Reds end-of-the-season awards known as “The Burt Awards.”  Every week since, a new collection of categories was unveiled for BOR readers to vote upon.

Five categories were trimmed from the Burt Awards in 2014, but the total number of votes was nearly identical to 2013.  Approximately 20,000 overall votes were cast for 25 categories.

It’s now time to reveal the Week One winners.

Envelopes, please…

Traditionally, our first category is the most popular and that certainly was the case again in 2014.  The Most Valuable Player poll received a whopping 3,444 total votes!  The clear-cut winner with 74% of that result is Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco.


Mesoraco established career highs this year in most offensive categories.  His 24 home runs as a catcher (he hit 25 overall) are the most by a Red since Johnny Bench hit 30 in 1977.  With 440 plate appearances, Devin became only the third catcher in Major League history to produce at least 24 HR and 76 RBI in 450 plate appearances or fewer, joining Mike Piazza (1994) and Ivan Rodriguez (2000).  Mesoraco was named to his first All-Star team by National League manager Mike Matheny.  He finished the year with an impressive .893 OPS.  Congratulations to 2014 Burt Award winner for MVP – Devin Mesoraco!

Second place:  Todd Frazier (18%)
Our next category is Best Baserunner and for the second straight year, Cool Papa Bill “ran” away with it…

Original photo by Al Behrman of the AP

Original photo by Al Behrman of the AP

Hamilton received 85% of the 1,342 votes. His 56 stolen bases were good for second in the National League, behind Dee Gordon’s (64) and were a single season franchise record for a rookie; the most by a Major League rookie since Ichiro had 56 in 2001 and the most by any Reds batter since Deion Sanders in 1997 (also 56).

Second place: Todd Frazier (10%)
Next is Best Newbie.  Originally slated to back up starting catcher Devin Mesoraco in 2014, Brayan Pena saw himself in the starting lineup more often than not, appearing in a career high 115 games, including 53 appearances at first base.  Prior to 2014, Brayan had only played first base four times at the Major League level.  His big smile and humble approach quickly made him a Reds fan favorite in his first year in Cincinnati.  It’s no surprise that he’s the winner of this one…

Original photo courtesy of The AP

Original photo courtesy of The AP

Second place: Kristopher Negron (34%)

Up next is Best Announcer.  Of the 11 nominees our winner amassed 525 of the 1,298 votes.

Congratulations to our first four-time winner…


“Mercury” Marty has swept this category in each of the first four years of the Burt Awards.  He told me that you’re all invited to his big celebration party tonight at Thom’s house. Be there by 9:30 and prepare to go all night long.

Second place: Jeff Brantley (15%)

Notes:  The self-proclaimed “voice of the Reds” Joe Zerhusen finished fourth with 115 votes.

Our final category of the day is Best GABP Promotional Giveaway.  Nearly 1,300 votes were cast for the 23 nominees.  In the closest race of the day, first place – by a mere 7 votes – goes to…


The Mr. Redlegs 2015 All-Star Game bobblehead takes over after two consecutive years of dominance by the Reds Stein.

Second place: Homer Bailey Dual No-Hitter Bobblehead (150 votes)


That’s all for today. Please tune in next week as I reveal Week 2 Winners.

In addition to the victors above, there is one more winner to announce:

Congratulations to @J_Landen an active participant in the Burt Awards discussion. For for his efforts, he’s been selected as a random winner of a cool prize from BOR HQ.

I’ll be awarding a new winner each day next week, so feel free to get noticed by either leaving a comment on the blog or by including the hashtag #TheBurts in your tweets.

Expect good news,


Official Rules for BETTER OFF RED Giveaways: Employees, officers, directors, representatives and agents of any MLB entity and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries & affiliated companies and their immediate families and those living in their same household, whether or not related, are not eligible for any Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) giveaway. Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) will determine giveaway recipients in its sole and absolute discretion. If you have received a Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) giveaway in the last 30 days, you’re not eligible. If you live more than 100 miles from the ballpark where a game for which tickets are being given away will be played, you are not eligible for that ticket giveaway. If a giveaway recipient is determined to be ineligible, Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) may, in its sole and absolute discretion, not give away the goods or ticket(s) or may give the goods or ticket(s) to the next eligible follower. You will be required to privately (through Twitter direct message or email) provide your name and address if you are selected as a giveaway recipient. Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) will not keep or store your information or use it for any purpose other than sending your giveaway item(s) or providing you information on receiving the item(s). Giveaways are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules or regulations.

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