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Giants honor Nick Hundley with 2017 Willie Mac Award

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San Francisco Giants vs Oakland Athletics
San Francisco Giants catcher Nick Hundley (5) catches a foul pop out hit by Davis as the San Francisco Giants face the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

Nick Hundley won the 2017 Willie Mac Award. If anything, consider this a message from his teammates: Please come back.

Hundley’s energy sliced right through the downtrodden tension that hung around the team this year — he was crowned the walk-off king and had a noticeably positive energy in the clubhouse.

Hundley addressed the crowd flanked by some of his teammates, and former Giants like Andres Torres and Ryan Vogelsong, that still can’t stay away:

“This organization is first class.”

The team took to him quickly and awarded him with a distinction as the most inspirational player on the team. Yeah, a new addition, was named the most inspirational player on a near-100 loss team, which says a lot about Hundley.

Maybe we could consider the award as a simple plea from teammates for Hundley to return. He fits the Willie Mac mold, but his future is uncertain. The Giants got him on a one-year, $2 million contract. Given the year he’s had as a back-up to one of baseball’s best, there’s no doubt he’ll be looking for more in 2018.

In 99 games, he’s hit nine home runs and 23 doubles, good for sixth-most on the team. Throughout the year, pitchers like Matt Cain and Chris Stratton have called him out for his pitch framing and guidance behind the dish. He’s embraced the team, despite all its flaws, in mere months. In return, his team embraced him back.


Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.

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