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Cy Young, Venezuelan Style, Truer Than the Red, Yellow, and Blue
2004-11-13 01:14
by Mike Carminati

(Those are the colors of the Venezuelan flag.)

Well, the voters finally screwed up and got a major award completely right. Johan Santana was awarded the AL Cy Young by unanimous vote. I guess John Kruk didnít get a vote.

Santana becomes the 18th man to win a Cy Young Award unanimously and the first Cy Young winner from Venezuela. Here are the records for all 18 unanimous winners:

NameYrLgWLERAK/BBK/9IPWHIPPitch WS
Sandy Koufax1963ML2551.885.2768.8550.87532.1
Sandy Koufax1965ML2682.045.38010.2420.85533.2
Sandy Koufax1966ML2791.734.1178.8330.98535.1
Bob Gibson1968NL2291.124.3237.9170.85336.4
Denny McLain1968AL3161.964.4447.5000.90533.1
Steve Carlton1972NL27101.973.5638.0560.99340.4
Ron Guidry1978AL2531.743.4448.1560.94631.2
Rick Sutcliffe1984NL1612.693.9749.2791.07818.2
Dwight Gooden1985NL2441.533.8848.7180.96532.7
Roger Clemens1986AL2442.483.5528.4330.96928.8
Orel Hershiser1988NL2382.262.4386.0001.05224.6
Greg Maddux1994NL1661.565.0326.9500.89626
Greg Maddux1995NL1921.637.8707.7690.81129.9
Roger Clemens1998AL2062.653.08010.3931.09525
Pedro Martinez1999AL2342.078.45913.2050.92326.9
Pedro Martinez2000AL1861.748.87511.7790.73728.9
Randy Johnson2002NL2452.324.70411.5621.03128.7
Johan Santana2004AL2062.614.90710.4610.92126.8

Santana, at 25, is also the fourth youngest of the unanimous winners. The second youngest was Roger Clemens (23) but then again, the youngest was Dwight Gooden and the second youngest was Denny McClain (24). So it in no way augurs a successful career.

And as for being the first Venezuelan Cy Young-award winner, there have been 35 previous, major awards given to Venezuelans:

AwardNameYr
AS MVPDave Concepcion1982
Gold GloveAndres Galarraga1989
Gold GloveAndres Galarraga1990
Gold GloveDave Concepcion1974
Gold GloveDave Concepcion1975
Gold GloveDave Concepcion1976
Gold GloveDave Concepcion1977
Gold GloveDave Concepcion1979
Gold GloveLuis Aparicio1958
Gold GloveLuis Aparicio1959
Gold GloveLuis Aparicio1960
Gold GloveLuis Aparicio1961
Gold GloveLuis Aparicio1962
Gold GloveLuis Aparicio1964
Gold GloveLuis Aparicio1966
Gold GloveLuis Aparicio1968
Gold GloveLuis Aparicio1970
Gold GloveManny Trillo1979
Gold GloveManny Trillo1981
Gold GloveManny Trillo1982
Gold GloveOmar Vizquel1993
Gold GloveOmar Vizquel1994
Gold GloveOmar Vizquel1995
Gold GloveOmar Vizquel1996
Gold GloveOmar Vizquel1997
Gold GloveOmar Vizquel1998
Gold GloveOmar Vizquel1999
Gold GloveOmar Vizquel2000
Gold GloveOmar Vizquel2001
Gold GloveOzzie Guillen1990
Gold GloveVic Davalillo1964
NLCS MVPEddie Perez1999
NLCS MVPManny Trillo1980
Rookie of the YearLuis Aparicio1956
Rookie of the YearOzzie Guillen1985

Santana was 5.1 Pitching Win Shares ahead of Curt Schilling this year. How well have the other unanimous selections faired against the number two man in WS in their league? Let's see:

NameYrLgPitch WSWS #2Pitch WSDiff
Steve Carlton1972NL40.4Bob Gibson28.911.5
Bob Gibson1968NL36.4Fergie Jenkins25.011.4
Pedro Martinez2000AL28.9Derek Lowe18.610.3
Greg Maddux1994NL26.0Bret Saberhagen16.010.0
Greg Maddux1995NL29.9Tom Glavine19.910.0
Pedro Martinez1999AL26.9Derek Lowe18.78.2
Dwight Gooden1985NL32.7John Tudor27.15.6
Johan Santana2004AL26.8Curt Schilling21.75.1
Randy Johnson2002NL28.7Curt Schilling23.75.0
Denny McLain1968AL33.1Luis Tiant28.15.0
Roger Clemens1998AL25.0Pedro Martinez20.94.1
Roger Clemens1986AL28.8Teddy Higuera24.93.9
Sandy Koufax1965ML33.2Juan Marichal29.83.4
Ron Guidry1978AL31.2Mike Caldwell28.13.1
Sandy Koufax1966ML35.1Juan Marichal32.32.8
Orel Hershiser1988NL24.6Danny Jackson21.82.8
Sandy Koufax1963ML32.1Dick Ellsworth32.2-0.1
Rick Sutcliffe1984NL18.2Bruce Sutter23.0-4.8

Steve Carlton in '72 just edges Bob Gibson's 1.12 for most dominant season. Santana is not that far behind.

The most amazing thing about Santana is that the Twins wasted the better part of two seasons shuttling the guy between the rotation and the bullpen. This was Santana's first season with at least 20 starts and his first with more than 12 wins.

Here are the other Cy Young winners who had not started 20 in a season before winning the award (a number were relievers):

NameYrLgGS High
Bruce Sutter1979NL0
Fernando Valenzuela1981NL0
Sparky Lyle1977AL0
Vida Blue1971AL6
Willie Hernandez1984AL7
Mike Marshall1974NL14
Bret Saberhagen1985AL18
Rollie Fingers1981AL19
Roger Clemens1986AL20
Eric Gagne2003NL24
Ron Guidry1978AL25
Mark Davis1989NL27

Now, here are the Cy winners who had never won 15 games prior to their big year:

NameYrLgW High
Vida Blue1971AL2
Fernando Valenzuela1981NL2
Eric Gagne2003NL6
Mark Davis1989NL6
Bruce Sutter1979NL8
Willie Hernandez1984AL8
Roger Clemens1986AL9
Sparky Lyle1977AL9
Steve Bedrosian1987NL9
Bret Saberhagen1985AL10
Jim Lonborg1967AL10
Rollie Fingers1981AL13
Tom Glavine1991NL14
Pedro Martinez1997NL14
John Denny1983NL14
Mike Marshall1974NL14
Dean Chance1964ML14

Finally, for our last fun fact, here are the previous award winners who were age 25 or less during the Cy Young season:

NameYrLgAge
Fernando Valenzuela1981NL20
Dwight Gooden1985NL20
Bret Saberhagen1985AL21
Vida Blue1971AL21
Roger Clemens1986AL23
Dean Chance1964ML23
Barry Zito2002AL24
Denny McLain1968AL24
Tom Seaver1969NL24
Roger Clemens1987AL24
Denny McLain1969AL25
Don Drysdale1962ML25
Bret Saberhagen1989AL25
Pedro Martinez1997NL25
Jim Lonborg1967AL25
Tom Glavine1991NL25

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