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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

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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