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Hurdle set for honor as Sportsman of the Year

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One more award into the trophy case. Then they all go into the rearview mirror.

A spotlighted offseason spent gathering the spoils of last year's success draws to a close Thursday night, when Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is feted as Sportsman of the Year at the 78th Annual Dapper Dan Banquet at Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

This is a big deal. Andrew McCutchen was presented with the same honor last year, and members of the Pirates were last honored consecutively in 1978 (Dave Parker) and 1979 (Willie Stargell).

But the "year" on the award is 2013. And the calendar reads 2014. One week after accepting this latest award, Hurdle will be in Florida, overseeing his pitchers and catchers going through their first Spring Training workout in Bradenton's Pirate City.

So, as Hurdle noted at December's PirateFest in the same convention center, "as with anything else, there's a time to move on" from celebrating last season.

That trophy case is full. McCutchen's NL MVP Award is front and center, next to Hurdle's Manager of the Year laurel. Last week, Hurdle was also honored by having the baseball field at his prep alma mater, Florida's Merritt Island High School, renamed for him.

The Bucs also cleaned up at the GIBBYs, named Storyline of the Year while Mark Melancon was named Setup Man of the Year and Francisco Liriano's the Comeback Player of the Year by MLB.com's panel of voters.

It has all made for a proud winter. And it's all history.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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