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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

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

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