Monday, November 21, 2011
MVP Verlander joins exclusive clubs
Six days after unanimously winning the AL Cy Young Award, Justin Verlander won the AL MVP today, receiving 13 of 28 first-place votes to top Jacoby Ellsbury and Josť Bautista.
Since the Cy Young Award began in 1956, Verlander is the 10th pitcher to sweep the Cy Young and the MVP.
He's the first pitcher to win both awards since Oakland's Dennis Eckersley in 1992, and he's the first starter to do so since Roger Clemens in 1986. Oddly enough, the last six pitchers to take both prizes have all been from the American League.
Verlander is the eighth Tiger to win the MVP since the baseball writers began handing out the award in 1931. Pitchers have won Detroit's last five MVPs: Verlander, Willie Hernandez in 1984, Denny McLain in 1968 and Hal Newhouser in 1944 & 1945.
Having won the 2006 AL Rookie of the Year as well, Verlander joins Don Newcombe as the only players to win all three awards at any point in a career. Newcombe was Rookie of the Year with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949, then swept the MVP and Cy Young in 1956.
Having won the Triple Crown this year by leading the AL in wins, strikeouts and ERA, Verlander enters another exclusive club. The only other pitcher to win the Triple Crown, MVP and Cy Young in the same year was Sandy Koufax in 1963.