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The Cy Young Award


The Cy Young Award is an honor given annually in baseball to the best pitchers in Major League Baseball (MLB), one each for the American League (AL) and National League (NL). The award was first introduced in 1956 by Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick in honor of Hall of Famemarker pitcher Cy Young, who died in 1955. The award was originally given to the single best pitcher in the major leagues, but in 1967, after the retirement of Frick, the award was given to one pitcher in each league.

Each league's award is voted on by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, with two representatives from each team, which means 28 ballots are cast for the American League winner, and 32 ballots are cast for the National League. Each voter places a vote for first, second, and third place among the pitchers of each league. The formula used to calculate the final scores is a weighted sum of the votes. The pitcher with the highest score in each league wins the award. If two pitchers receive the same number of votes, the award is shared. The current formula started in the 1970 season. Before that, writers only voted for the best pitcher and used a formula of one point per vote.

History

The Cy Young Award was first introduced in 1956 by Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick in honor of Hall of Famemarker pitcher Cy Young, who died in 1955. The award would be given to pitchers only. Originally given to the single best pitchers in the major leagues, the award changed its format over time. From 1956 to 1966, the award was given to one pitcher in Major League Baseball. After Frick retired in 1967, William Eckert became the new Commissioner of Baseball. Due to fan requests, Eckert announced that the Cy Young Award would be given out both in the American League and the National League. From 1956 to 1958, a pitcher was not allowed to win the award on more than one occasion; this rule was eliminated in 1959. After a tie in the 1969 voting, the process was changed, in which each writer was to vote for three different pitchers: the first-place vote received five points, the second-place vote received three points, and the third-place vote received one point, a system that is still in use.

The first recipient of the Cy Young Award was Don Newcombe of the Dodgers, and the most recent winners were Tim Lincecum, from the National League, and Zack Greinke, from the American League. In 1957, Warren Spahn became the first left-handed pitcher to win the award. In 1963, Sandy Koufax became the first pitcher to win the award in a unanimous vote; two years later he became the first multiple winner. In 1974, Mike Marshall won the award, becoming the first relief pitcher to win the award. In 1978, Gaylord Perry (age 40) became the oldest pitcher to receive the award, only to have the record broken in 2004 by Roger Clemens (age 42). The youngest recipient was Dwight Gooden (age 20 in 1985).

Key

Year Each year is linked to an article about that Major League Baseball season.
ERA Earned run average
* Also named Most Valuable Player
** Also named Rookie of the Year


Winners

Major Leagues combined (1956–1966)

Year Pitcher Team Record Saves ERA
Don Newcombe* Brooklyn Dodgers (NL) 27–7 0 3.06
Warren Spahn Milwaukee Braves (NL) 21–11 3 2.69
Bob Turley New York Yankees (AL) 21–7 1 2.97
Early Wynn Chicago White Sox (AL) 22–10 0 3.17
Vern Law Pittsburgh Pirates (NL) 20–9 0 3.08
Whitey Ford New York Yankees (AL) 25–4 0 3.21
Don Drysdale Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) 25–9 1 2.84
Sandy Koufax* Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) 25–5 0 1.88
Dean Chance Los Angeles Angels (AL) 20–9 4 1.65
Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) 26–8 2 2.04
Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) 27–9 0 1.73


National League (1967–present)

Year Pitcher Team Record Saves ERA
Mike McCormick San Francisco Giants 22–10 0 2.85
Bob Gibson* St. Louis Cardinals 22–9 0 1.12
Tom Seaver New York Mets 25–7 0 2.21
Bob Gibson St. Louis Cardinals 23–7 0 3.12
Ferguson Jenkins Chicago Cubs 24–13 0 2.77
Steve Carlton Philadelphia Phillies 27–10 0 1.98
Tom Seaver New York Mets 19–10 0 2.08
Mike Marshall Los Angeles Dodgers 15–12 21 2.42
Tom Seaver New York Mets 22–9 0 2.38
Randy Jones San Diego Padres 22–14 0 2.74
Steve Carlton Philadelphia Phillies 23–10 0 2.64
Gaylord Perry San Diego Padres 21–6 0 2.73
Bruce Sutter Chicago Cubs 6–6 37 2.22
Steve Carlton Philadelphia Phillies 24–9 0 2.34
Fernando Valenzuela** Los Angeles Dodgers 13–7 0 2.48
Steve Carlton Philadelphia Phillies 23–11 0 3.11
John Denny Philadelphia Phillies 19–6 0 2.37
Rick Sutcliffe Chicago Cubs 16–1 0 2.69
Dwight Gooden New York Mets 24–4 0 1.53
Mike Scott Houston Astros 18–10 0 2.22
Steve Bedrosian Philadelphia Phillies 5–3 40 2.83
Orel Hershiser Los Angeles Dodgers 23–8 1 2.26
Mark Davis San Diego Padres 4–3 44 1.85
Doug Drabek Pittsburgh Pirates 22–6 0 2.76
Tom Glavine Atlanta Braves 20–11 0 2.55
Greg Maddux Chicago Cubs 20–11 0 2.18
Greg Maddux Atlanta Braves 20–10 0 2.36
Greg Maddux Atlanta Braves 16–6 0 1.56
Greg Maddux Atlanta Braves 19–2 0 1.63
John Smoltz Atlanta Braves 24–8 0 2.94
Pedro Martínez Montreal Expos 17–8 0 1.90
Tom Glavine Atlanta Braves 20–6 0 2.47
Randy Johnson Arizona Diamondbacks 17–9 0 2.49
Randy Johnson Arizona Diamondbacks 19–7 0 2.64
Randy Johnson Arizona Diamondbacks 21–6 0 2.49
Randy Johnson Arizona Diamondbacks 24–5 0 2.32
Eric Gagné Los Angeles Dodgers 2–3 55 1.20
Roger Clemens Houston Astros 18–4 0 2.98
Chris Carpenter St. Louis Cardinals 21–5 0 2.83
Brandon Webb Arizona Diamondbacks 16–8 0 3.10
Jake Peavy San Diego Padres 19–6 0 2.54
Tim Lincecum San Francisco Giants 18–5 0 2.62
Tim Lincecum San Francisco Giants 15–7 0 2.48


American League (1967–present)

Year Pitcher Team Record Saves ERA
Jim Lonborg Boston Red Sox 22–9 0 3.16
Denny McLain* Detroit Tigers 31–6 0 1.96
Mike Cuellar
Denny McLain
Baltimore Orioles
Detroit Tigers
23–11
24–9
0
0
2.38
2.80
Jim Perry Minnesota Twins 24–12 0 3.04
Vida Blue* Oakland Athletics 24–8 0 1.82
Gaylord Perry Cleveland Indians 24–16 1 1.92
Jim Palmer Baltimore Orioles 22–9 1 2.40
Catfish Hunter Oakland Athletics 25–12 0 2.49
Jim Palmer Baltimore Orioles 23–11 1 2.09
Jim Palmer Baltimore Orioles 22–13 0 2.51
Sparky Lyle New York Yankees 13–5 26 2.17
Ron Guidry New York Yankees 25–3 0 1.74
Mike Flanagan Baltimore Orioles 23–9 0 3.08
Steve Stone Baltimore Orioles 25–7 0 3.23
Rollie Fingers* Milwaukee Brewers 6–3 28 1.04
Pete Vuckovich Milwaukee Brewers 18–6 0 3.34
LaMarr Hoyt Chicago White Sox 24–10 0 3.66
Willie Hernández* Detroit Tigers 9–3 32 1.92
Bret Saberhagen Kansas City Royals 20–6 0 2.87
Roger Clemens* Boston Red Sox 24–4 0 2.48
Roger Clemens Boston Red Sox 20–9 0 2.97
Frank Viola Minnesota Twins 24–7 0 2.64
Bret Saberhagen Kansas City Royals 23–6 0 2.16
Bob Welch Oakland Athletics 27–6 0 2.95
Roger Clemens Boston Red Sox 18–10 0 2.62
Dennis Eckersley* Oakland Athletics 7–1 51 1.91
Jack McDowell Chicago White Sox 22–10 0 3.37
David Cone Kansas City Royals 16–5 0 2.94
Randy Johnson Seattle Mariners 18–2 0 2.48
Pat Hentgen Toronto Blue Jays 20–10 0 3.22
Roger Clemens Toronto Blue Jays 21–7 0 2.05
Roger Clemens Toronto Blue Jays 20–6 0 2.65
Pedro Martínez Boston Red Sox 23–4 0 2.07
Pedro Martínez Boston Red Sox 18–6 0 1.74
Roger Clemens New York Yankees 20–3 0 3.51
Barry Zito Oakland Athletics 23–5 0 2.75
Roy Halladay Toronto Blue Jays 22–7 0 3.25
Johan Santana Minnesota Twins 20–6 0 2.61
Bartolo Colón Los Angeles Angels 21–8 0 3.48
Johan Santana Minnesota Twins 19–6 0 2.77
C.C. Sabathia Cleveland Indians 19–7 0 3.21
Cliff Lee Cleveland Indians 22–3 0 2.54
Zack Greinke Kansas City Royals 16–8 0 2.16


Multiple winners

There have been 15 pitchers who have won the award multiple times. Roger Clemens currently holds the record for the most awards won, with seven. Greg Maddux (1992–1995) and Randy Johnson (1999–2002) share the record for the most consecutive awards won. Clemens, Johnson, Pedro Martínez and Gaylord Perry are the only pitchers to have won the award in both the American League and National League; Sandy Koufax is the only pitcher who won multiple awards during the period when only one award was presented for all of Major League Baseball. Roger Clemens was the youngest pitcher to win a second Cy Young Award, while Tim Lincecum is the youngest pitcher to win a second consecutive.

Pitcher # of Awards Years
Roger Clemens
7
1986, 1987, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2004
Randy Johnson
5
1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
Steve Carlton
4
1972, 1977, 1980, 1982
Greg Maddux
4
1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
Sandy Koufax
3
1963, 1965, 1966
Pedro Martínez
3
1997, 1999, 2000
Jim Palmer
3
1973, 1975, 1976
Tom Seaver
3
1969, 1973, 1975
Bob Gibson
2
1968, 1970
Tom Glavine
2
1991, 1998
Denny McLain
2
1968, 1969
Gaylord Perry
2
1972, 1978
Bret Saberhagen
2
1985, 1989
Johan Santana
2
2004, 2006
Tim Lincecum
2
2008, 2009


Notes

  • The formula is: Score = 5F + 3S + T, where F is the number of first place votes, S is second place votes, and T is third place votes.
  • See: Decision
  • In baseball, a save is credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under certain prescribed circumstances. It became an official statistic in Major League Baseball in 1969.


See also



References

General




Specific



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