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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Virtual Cy Young Awards, based on MVP Ballots, 1931-66
General conclusions from looking at the 1967-2005 MVP and Cy Young votes.
Relievers finish ahead of starters all the time in the MVP vote, sometimes by wide margins. Unless they 1) win the MVP part by a gigantic margin or 2) have an enormous save total or 3) the starter they beat has a very low point total; the starter wins the Cy Young Award. If a reliever beats a starter by a small margin and both have decent totals in the MVP vote, the starter wins (and usually trounces) him in the Cy Young balloting.
Almost always, the starting pitcher that wins the Cy Young Award finished first in the MVP vote among starters. There have been a few exceptions, generally if the point totals are very low anything can happen.
I’ll explain cases where I deviate from the MVP vote, based on the above. I’ll put in the modern winners too, may as well have them all on one page. If a reliever wins, I’ll put him in italics and give the top starter below.
At some point I’ll take a crack at the pre-1931 Awards, but they are tougher with no MVP vote, maybe I’ll just add Bill Deane’s to this list when I get a chance.
1931 - AL - Lefty Grove (Phi) NL - Ed Brandt (Bos) 1932 - AL - Lefty Grove* (Phi) NL - Lon Warneke (Chi) 1933 - AL - Lefty Grove (Phi) NL - Carl Hubbell (NY) 1934 - AL - Lefty Gomez (NY) NL - Dizzy Dean (StL) 1935 - AL - Wes Ferrell (Bos) NL - Dizzy Dean (StL) 1936 - AL - Tommy Bridges* (Det) NL - Carl Hubbell (NY) 1937 - AL - Lefty Gomez* (NY) NL - Carl Hubbell (NY) 1938 - AL - Red Ruffing (NY) NL - Bill Lee (Chi) 1939 - AL - Bob Feller (Cle) NL - Bucky Walters (Cin) 1940 - AL - Bob Feller (Cle) NL - Bucky Walters (Cin) 1941 - AL - Bob Feller (Cle) NL - Whit Wyatt (Bro) 1942 - AL - Tiny Bonham (NY) NL - Mort Cooper (StL) 1943 - AL - Spud Chandler (NY) NL - Mort Cooper* (StL) 1944 - AL - Hal Newhouser* (Det) NL - Bucky Walters* (Cin) 1945 - AL - Hal Newhouser (Det) NL - Red Barrett (Bos/StL) 1946 - AL - Hal Newhouser (Det) NL - Howie Pollet (StL) 1947 - AL - Bob Feller* (Cle) NL - Ewell Blackwell (Cin) 1948 - AL - Bob Lemon (Cle) NL - Johnny Sain (Bos) 1949 - AL - Mel Parnell* (Bos) NL - Warren Spahn (Bos) 1950 - AL - Bob Lemon (Cle) NL - Jim Konstanty* (Phi) 1951 - AL - Ned Garver* (StL) NL - Sal Maglie* (NY) 1952 - AL - Bobby Shantz (Phi) NL - Robin Roberts* (Phi) 1953 - AL - Virgil Trucks* (StL/Chi) NL - Warren Spahn (Mil) 1954 - AL - Bob Lemon (Cle) NL - Johnny Antonelli (NY) 1955 - AL - Whitey Ford (NY)* NL - Robin Roberts (Phi) 1956 - AL - Billy Pierce (Chi) NL - Don Newcombe (Bro) 1957 - AL - Jim Bunning (Det) NL - Warren Spahn (Mil) 1958 - AL - Bob Turley (NY) NL - Warren Spahn (Mil) 1959 - AL - Early Wynn (Chi) NL - Sam Jones (SF) 1960 - AL - Jim Perry* (Cle) NL - Vern Law* (Pit) 1961 - AL - Whitey Ford (NY) NL - Warren Spahn* (Mil) 1962 - AL - Ralph Terry* (NY) NL - Don Drysdale (LA) 1963 - AL - Whitey Ford (NY) NL - Sandy Koufax (LA) 1964 - AL - Dean Chance (LA) NL - Larry Jackson* (Chi) 1965 - AL - Mudcat Grant* (Min) NL - Sandy Koufax (LA) 1966 - AL - Jim Kaat (Min) NL - Sandy Koufax (LA) 1967 - AL - Jim Lonborg (Bos) NL - Mike McCormick (SF) 1968 - AL - Denny McLain (Det) NL - Bob Gibson (StL) 1969 - AL - McLain (Det)/Cuellar (Bal) NL - Tom Seaver (NY) 1970 - AL - Jim Perry (Min) NL - Bob Gibson (StL) 1971 - AL - Vida Blue (Oak) NL - Ferguson Jenkins (Chi) 1972 - AL - Gaylord Perry (Cle) NL - Steve Carlton (Phi) 1973 - AL - Jim Palmer (Bal) NL - Tom Seaver (NY) 1974 - AL - Catfish Hunter (Oak) NL - Mike Marshall (LA) 1975 - AL - Jim Palmer (Bal) NL - Tom Seaver (NY) 1976 - AL - Jim Palmer (Bal) NL - Randy Jones (SD) 1977 - AL - Sparky Lyle (NY) NL - Steve Carlton (Phi) 1978 - AL - Ron Guidry (NY) NL - Gaylord Perry (SD) 1979 - AL - Mike Flanagan (Bal) NL - Bruce Sutter (Chi) 1980 - AL - Steve Stone (Bal) NL - Steve Carlton (Phi) 1981 - AL - Rollie Fingers (Mil) NL - Fernando Valenzuela (LA) 1982 - AL - Pete Vukovich (Mil) NL - Steve Carlton (Phi) 1983 - AL - LaMarr Hoyt (Chi) NL - John Denny (Phi) 1984 - AL - Willie Hernandez (Det) NL - Rick Sutcliffe (Chi) 1985 - AL - Bret Saberhagen (KC) NL - Dwight Gooden (NY) 1986 - AL - Roger Clemens (Bos) NL - Mike Scott (Hou) 1987 - AL - Roger Clemens (Bos) NL - Steve Bedrosian (Phi) 1988 - AL - Frank Viola (Min) NL - Orel Hershiser (LA) 1989 - AL - Bred Saberhagen (KC) NL - Mark Davis (SD) 1990 - AL - Bob Welch (Oak) NL - Doug Drabek (Pit) 1991 - AL - Roger Clemens (Bos) NL - Tom Glavine (Atl) 1992 - AL - Dennis Eckersley (Oak) NL - Greg Maddux (Chi) 1993 - AL - Jack McDowell (Chi) NL - Greg Maddux (Atl) 1994 - AL - David Cone (KC) NL - Greg Maddux (Atl) 1995 - AL - Randy Johnson (Sea) NL - Greg Maddux (Atl) 1996 - AL - Pat Hentgen (Tor) NL - John Smoltz (Atl) 1997 - AL - Roger Clemens (Tor) NL - Pedro Martinez (Mon) 1998 - AL - Roger Clemens (Tor) NL - Tom Glavine (Atl) 1999 - AL - Pedro Martinez (Bos) NL - Randy Johnson (Ari) 2000 - AL - Pedro Martinez (Bos) NL - Randy Johnson (Ari) 2001 - AL - Roger Clemens (NY) NL - Randy Johnson (Ari) 2002 - AL - Barry Zito (Oak) NL - Randy Johnson (Ari) 2003 - AL - Roy Halladay (Tor) NL - Eric Gagne (LA) 2004 - AL - Johan Santana (Min) NL - Roger Clemens (Hou) 2005 - AL - Bartolo Colon (LA) NL - Chris Carpenter (StL)
7 - Roger Clemens
If it were the “Best Starting Pitcher Award”, Palmer moves to the 4 list, Roberts to 3, Sutcliffe, Scott and McDowell join the 2 list. Messersmith, J. Niekro, Blyleven, McCatty and Schmidt would join the list of winners with 1.
Starters who would have won if relievers ineligible
Here’s a recap of all of the situations where the MVP and Cy Young balloting are out of sync, in case anyone wants to mine the data.
AL 1967 - good example of the relievers do better in the MVP than Cy Young vote thing. Joe Horlen beat Jim Lonborg, 91-82 in the MVP vote, but Longborg won the Cy Young vote 18-2.
AL 1972 - Sparky Lyle finished 3rd in the MVP vote, beating Gaylord Perry 158-88. Lyle got 3 points in the Cy Young vote, Perry won with 64.
NL 1973 - Mike Marshall finished 5th in the MVP, beating Seaver 93-57. Seaver won the Cy Young 71-54.
AL 1974 - First example of a starter that finished ahead of another in the MVP not beating him for the Cy Young. Jenkins beat Hunter 118-107 in the MVP, Hunter won the Cy Young 90-75.
NL 1974 - Marshall wins the Cy Young, he was 3rd in the MVP with 146 points, Andy Messersmith and Jack Billingham had 4 points. Marshall only beat them 96-66-8 in the Cy Young vote. Marshall threw 200+ innings out of the pen that year, and still barely won the Cy Young.
AL 1975 - Rollie Fingers beats Palmer 129-82 in MVP vote. Palmer edges Hunter for the Cy Young, Fingers distant 3rd, 98-74-25.
NL 1975 - Al Hrabosky edges Seaver and Randy Jones, 66-65-54 in MVP vote. Cy Young goes Seaver 98, Jones 80, Hrabosky 33.
AL 1976 - Bill Campbell beats Palmer 56-47 in MVP, finishes 7th in Cy Young with 7 points.
AL 1977 - Lyle and Campbell finish ahead of Guidry and Palmer 79-65-11-9 in MVP vote. Lyle wins the Cy Young, 56-48 over Palmer. Campbell was 5th with 25 points.
NL 1979 - Tables turn. Joe Niekro outpoints Sutter and Tekulve 75-69-64 in the MVP vote. However, in the Cy Young vote Sutter wins 72-66 (Tekulve had 14 points). This is the first time anything like this has remotely happened. Sutter broke the saves record that year.
AL 1980 - Back to normal. Gossage finishes 3rd in the MVP vote, beating Steve Stone and Mike Norris 218-70-10. He also finished 3rd in the Cy Young vote, behind Stone and Norris, 100-91-37.
AL 1981 - Goofy short season, Fingers wins the MVP, and beats Steve McCatty 319-22 (15 1st place votes). In the Cy Young vote he gets 22 1st place votes to McCatty’s 6.
AL 1982 - Dan Quisenberry beats Pete Vukovich 39-11 in MVP vote. Vukovich win the Cy Young, Quis is 3rd.
NL 1982 - Sutter and Greg Minton beat Carlton in the MVP vote 134-44-41, Carlton gets 20 of 24 1st place votes for the Cy Young Award, Sutter ties for 3rd, Minton 6th.
AL 1983 - Quisenberry, on a team 20 games out of first beats LaMarr Hoyt, who won 24 games for the division champ, 107-24 in the MVP vote. Hoyt edges him 116-81 in the Cy Young vote.
AL 1983 - Al Holland beats teammate John Denny 42-24 in the MVP vote, Denny gets 20 of 24 1st place votes for the Cy Young Award, Holland is 6th.
NL 1984 - Willie Hernandez romps to the MVP, Quisenberry is 3rd. The top starter is Dave Steib. The score is 306-235-4. Hernandez beats Quis 16-5 in first place votes. Cy Young, Willie only beats Quis 88-71, Blyleven gets 45 points and is 3rd. 1st place votes go 12-9-4.
AL 1985 - Donnie Moore beats Bret Saberhagen 96-45 in MVP vote. Saberhagen romps Cy Young (23 of 28 1st place votes), Moore is tied for 7th.
AL 1987 - Jeff Reardon and Tom Henke outpoint Roger Clemens in the MVP vote. Henke doesn’t get a vote on the Cy Young ballot, Clemens romps and Reardon is 8th.
NL 1987 - Not a good data point. Steve Bedrosian only pitcher to get a vote in the MVP, gets 6 points. He edges Sutcliffe and Reuschel for the Cy Young 57-55-54.
AL 1988 - Dennis Eckersley beats Frank Viola, 156-39 in MVP vote. Viola beats him 27-1 in the Cy Young voting.
AL 1989 - Eck beats Saberhagen 116-82 in MVP. Sabes gets 27 of 28 Cy Young 1st place votes.
NL 1989 - Mark Davis beats Mike Scott 76-6 in MVP vote. He wins the Cy Young too, with 19 first place votes to 4 for Scott (107-65 in points).
AL 1990 - Only the second example I’ve found of a starter beating another starter in the MVP but losing to him in the Cy Young. Clemens and Dave Stewart beat Bob Welch 212-56-54. Welch gets 15 of 28 1st place votes in the Cy Young balloting wins 107-77-43 over the others. Bobby Thigpen had 170 points in the MVP vote, 20 in the Cy Young balloting. Eck had 112 MVP points, 2 in the Cy Young voting. 27 wins is the explanation here.
NL 1991 - Lee Smith beats Tom Glavine 89-16 in the MVP vote. Glavine wins the Cy Young 19-4 (110-60 in points) over Smith.
AL 1992 - Eck wins the MVP with 306 points (15 firsts), Jack Morris top starter with 18 points, Clemens 16, McDowell 5. Cy Young, Eck gets 19 first place votes, McDowell and Clemens runners up.
NL 1992 - Another case of a close but low MVP vote getting the Cy Young wrong. Glavine beats Greg Maddux 18-14 in MVP, Maddux beats him for Cy Young 20-4.
NL 1993 - Rod Beck edges Maddux, 23-17 in MVP. Maddux gets 22 of 28 Cy Young 1sts, Beck doesn’t get a vote.
AL 1994 - MVP wrong on AL Cy Young vote. Key beats Cone 102-40. Cone edges Key for Cy Young 108-96 (15-10). Only one that doesn’t have a logical explanation.
AL 1995 - Jose Mesa gets a 1st place MVP vote and edges Randy Johnson 130-111 in the MVP voting. Johnson beats him 26-2 for the Cy Young.
AL 1996 - Mariano Rivera beats Andy Pettitte 27-11 in MVP, Pat Hentgen doesn’t get a vote. Cy Young Hentgen edges Pettitte 110-104. Rivera 3rd with 18 points. Editorial comment: Rivera actually deserved the Cy Young, pretty amazing for a setup man. 1 voter gave him a 1st place vote.
AL 1997 - Randy Myers 4th in MVP vote, beats out Clemens and Johnson, 128-56-42. Clemens gets 25 1st place votes for the Cy Young, Myers is 4th with 14 points.
NL 1997 - Another case of a starter being behind in the MVP vote but winning. Again, small totals. Maddux, Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez 16-9-6 in MVP. Pedro gets 25 1st place votes in the Cy Young.
NL 1998 - Trevor Hoffman beats Glavine 117-2 in the MVP vote (Kevin Brown had 8 points). Glavine, despite having fewer 1st place votes (11-13-8) edges Hoffman and Brown, 99-88-76 to win the Cy Young.
NL 2000 - MVP ballot wrong on starters again, with low totals. Maddux 12, Glavine 8, Johnson 5. Cy Young, Johnson in a walk with 22 first place votes.
NL 2001 - Again NL, again small totals. Schilling 24, Johnson 23 MVP. Cy Young, Johnson 30 first place votes, Schilling 2.
AL 2003 - Keith Foulke leads MVP vote among pitchers, with 20 points. Pedro gets 7 points, Loaiza 4. Roy Halladay romps to Cy Young with 26 first place votes.
NL 2003 - Eric Gagne beats Mark Prior and Jason Schmidt, 143-44-7 in the MVP vote. Gagne romps to the Cy Young 28-2-2.
AL 2005 - Mariano Rivera 59 points in MVP, Bartolo Colon, 3. Colon wins the Cy Young 17-8, 118-68.
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