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Matt Duffy wins 2015 Willie Mac Award

Matt Duffy wins the coveted award for spirit and leadership, voted on by his teammates and Willie McCovey himself.

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The Giants announced on Friday night that Matt Duffy is the winner of the 2015 Willie Mac Award, which goes to the player on the Giants who "best exemplifies the spirit and leadership consistently shown by (Willie) McCovey throughout his long career." It's a pretty big deal.

Duffy began the season on the bench, and his roster spot wasn't even guaranteed. This was literally a headline in March:

Matt Duffy vs. Joaquin Arias vs. Ehire Adrianza

Which, sorry. I promise, none of us expected this! Duffy pushed his way into the lineup, and had one of the best rookie seasons in Giants history, playing a stellar third base and becoming a consistent hitter in the #3 spot in the lineup.

Duffy becomes the first rookie to win the award (!), and even though he probably isn't going to win the Rookie of the Year, this is probably an even better honor. Writers vote on the ROY. Teammates vote on this one. Duffy's quiet determination and non-jerky oblique/hamstring/brain allowed him to stay in the lineup every single day in a season where everyone seemed to get bitten by something.

Congratulations to Matt Duffy! Here's the full list of winners in the history of the award:

Year Player
1980 Jack Clark
1981 Larry Herndon
1982 Joe Morgan
1983 Darrell Evans
1984 Bob Brenly
1985 Mike Krukow
1986 Mike Krukow
1987 Chris Speier
1988 José Uribe
1989 Dave Dravecky
1990 Steve Bedrosian
1991 Robby Thompson
1992 Mike Felder
1993 Kirt Manwaring
1994 (not awarded due to strike)
1995 Mark Leiter
1995 Mark Carreon
1996 Shawon Dunston
1997 J. T. Snow
1998 Jeff Kent
1999 Marvin Benard
2000 Ellis Burks
2001 Mark Gardner
2001 Benito Santiago
2002 David Bell
2003 Marquis Grissom
2004 J. T. Snow
2005 Mike Matheny
2006 Omar Vizquel
2007 Bengie Molina
2008 Bengie Molina
2009 Matt Cain
2010 Andres Torres
2011 Ryan Vogelsong
2012 Buster Posey
2013 Hunter Pence
2014 Madison Bumgarner
2015 Matt Duffy