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Sports Then and Now



Waiting For The Weekend: Awards and Astronauts 0

Posted on November 19, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Royals-Tigers

Zach Greinke had the lowest ERA by an American League pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 2000.

This week we look at the transition that has taken place in what voters consider important in selecting the Cy Young Award winner. We also look at a former star athlete who now is really shooting for the stars.

Remember When Wins Mattered For Starting Pitchers?

Zach Greinke’s distinction of sharing the record for the fewest number of wins by a Cy Young winning pitcher (16) didn’t last long as the record is now solely in the hands of Tim Lincecum (15).

In fact, it shows how times have changed to consider that the 31 total victories between the two 2009 Cy Young Award winners equals the total number of wins that Denny McLain registered when winning the American League Cy Young Award in 1968.

It used to be that the number one criteria for a starting pitcher being a serious Cy Young Award candidate was how many victories he recorded in a season. Sure, other factors like strikeouts, ERA and winning percentage have always been important, but the top prize for a pitcher usually was reserved for a hurler who either led the league or came close to leading the league in wins.

The voting for the 2009 Cy Young Awards clearly illustrates that is no longer the case.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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