Bob Melvin wore a look of disbelief Tuesday when he was announced as the American League's Manager of the Year.
His credentials left no doubt he was worthy.
The A's skipper took a team that many had pegged for 100 losses and guided it to a 94-win season and the American League West championship.
He did it while using 19 rookies -- 12 of them pitchers -- and overcoming numerous injuries, not to mention a payroll that was the lowest in the A.L.
It was enough for Melvin to claim his second Manager of the Year award. He won in 2007 while managing Arizona, and he's one of just six in major league history to win the award in both leagues.
"It's as good a managerial job as anyone I've been around," said A's general manager Billy Beane, who took over his position in 1997. "The entire time I've been here, we've had a lot of award winners. But I'm not sure we've ever had a winner more deserving."
Melvin was watching Tuesday's made-for-TV awards show from a studio in New York, where he lives in the offseason. His look ranged from surprise to confusion after he was announced as the winner.
"I was sitting in a dark room, and it was a little claustrophobic," he joked. "I was a bit surprised. For me, it's more a validation for our organization having a great year."
He wasn't the only one shocked.
Many thought a perceived East Coast bias would sway voting toward Baltimore's Buck Showalter, who led the surprising Orioles to 93 wins. After Beane was voted Executive of the Year last week, there was reason to believe Melvin's on-field work also might get overlooked.
But Melvin garnered 16 of the 28 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America. He beat out Showalter, who received the other 12 first-place votes. Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox finished a distant third.
Votes were collected at the end of the regular season, so the playoffs didn't factor in.
The voting broke down somewhat regionally. Writers covering A.L. West clubs voted 6-2 in favor of Melvin. Those from the A.L. East voted 7-3 for Showalter. Writers from the A.L. Central swung it in Melvin's favor, giving him the nod 7-3.
Yet even some of those in the East recognized Melvin's work.
"They lost (Bartolo) Colon. (Brandon) Inge got hurt. They took some big hits during the season," said the Tampa Tribune's Roger Mooney, who voted for Melvin. "The A's were the sum of their parts. They chased down the Rangers and won the division. Melvin's team won the division, and I used that as my tiebreaker."
The A's traded three All-Star pitchers last offseason in Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey. Because of injury and suspension, they finished the regular season with an all-rookie rotation.
On June 30, they trailed the Rangers by 13 games in the A.L. West. But from July 1 on, they led the majors with a 57-26 mark.
"Coming into spring training, obviously we all read and watch sports and know we weren't picked to do what we did," rookie right-hander Jarrod Parker said. "Bob said, 'Don't worry about that. We know who we are.' Bob stayed upbeat when times were tough. He always knew how to say the right things and keep us motivated and going."
Reliever Sean Doolittle laughed when told Melvin was surprised he won.
"Just look at the job he did," Doolittle said. "He absolutely deserved to win. I guess that's him -- really humble and a lot of humility."