Baseball Toaster Mike's Baseball Rants
This is my site with my opinions, but I hope that, like Irish Spring, you like it, too.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Mike's Baseball Rants


10  09  07 
06  05  04  03 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
Links to MBBR
Out Voted, Continued
2004-11-24 13:24
by Mike Carminati

Parts I, II, III, and IV

Next in our pursuit of the most egregiously overlooked players in baseball award history is the Cy Yoing award.

The Cy Young is not as straight-forward as the MVP vote even though it's only been in existence for just under fifty years. The difficulty arises with a couple of voting rules for the award.

First, when the award was first created (1956) it was for the best pitcher in the major leagues, not in each league as it is today. It wasn't until 1967 that a Cy Young was given out in each league. This allowed a number of candidates to slip through the cracks.

The other eccentricity was that the voters selected just one candidate for the first 15 years of the awards existence. Essentially, it would be like lopping off the second- and third-place votes from today's ballots. Initially, multiple candidates would still split the vote. However, as the mid-Sixties witnessed the domination of Sandy Koufax, fewer candidates were even considered. Koufax was the only man in the majors to receive a vote in 1963, 1965, and 1966. Perhaps that was the reason they split the award up per league: so that an American Leaguer would have a chance. However, in 1968 in both leagues only one candidate received votes (Bob Gibson in the NL and Denny McLain in the AL).

Here's a table of the number of player performance that received Cy Young consideration for each decade in each league. Followed by the average number receiving votes per year per league for the decade (through 2004):

DecadeLgTot#YrsPer Yr

Note the number of candidates quadrupling in the Seventies? The numbers have actually been shrinking in each decade since. But the award will never return to the two-man average that the NL vote in the Seventies achieved. That is, unless they remove third place from the ballot.

This allowed boatloads of deserving candidates to be completely overlooked through the Sixties. In the study below you'll see that there were 12 candidates who would meet our criterion (24 Win Shares) in the National League in 1969 and yet just two (winner Tom Terrific Seaver and Phil Niekro) received any votes. Also, of the 44 overlooked pitchers in the study, only six have been since the ballot was expanded to include second- and third-place votes (and two of them were relievers).

OK, after that rambling preamble, let's off to the actual study. Below are the pitchers who had the best seasons during the Cy Young award era and yet received no notice, or at least no votes (based on a min. of 24 Win Shares. Note Rank is based on WS ranks in the majors for 1956-66 and within league since):

NameYrLgWin SharesTot WSPitch WSRankWLSV ERA
Juan Marichal1966NL3333.0032.3022560 2.23
Bob Gibson1969NL3332.8032.30120130 2.18
Dick Ellsworth1963NL3232.2032.20122100 2.11
Jim Bunning1966NL3030.2030.20319141 2.41
Juan Marichal1965NL3029.8029.80222131 2.13
Juan Marichal1969NL2928.7028.70321110 2.10
Luis Tiant1968AL2828.1028.1022190 1.60
Bill Hands1969NL2828.1028.10420140 2.49
Early Wynn1956AL2827.9027.5012092 2.72
Don Drysdale1965NL2727.4022.30323121 2.77
Jim Bunning1965NL2726.7026.7041990 2.60
Juan Marichal1963NL2626.4026.4032580 2.41
Don Drysdale1964NL2626.4026.40218160 2.18
Jim Bunning1957AL2626.3026.3012081 2.69
Jim Kaat1966AL2626.2026.20425130 2.75
Bill Singer1969NL2626.2026.20620121 2.34
Mel Stottlemyre1969AL2626.1026.10220140 2.82
Rich Gossage1977NL2626.0026.00411926 1.62
Bob Gibson1965NL2625.9024.30520121 3.07
Gaylord Perry1969NL2625.9025.90719140 2.49
Bob Gibson1966NL2625.7025.70521120 2.44
Dave McNally1968AL2625.6025.60322100 1.95
Claude Osteen1969NL2625.5025.50920150 2.66
Jerry Koosman1969NL2525.5025.5081790 2.28
Sam McDowell1965AL2525.4025.40617114 2.18
Larry Dierker1969NL2525.4025.401020130 2.33
Gary Peters1963AL2525.0023.0041981 2.33
Fergie Jenkins1968NL2525.0025.00220150 2.63
Herb Score1956AL2524.9024.9032090 2.53
Jon Matlack1978AL2524.9024.90415131 2.27
Johnny Antonelli1956NL2524.8024.80420131 2.86
Juan Marichal1964NL2524.7024.7042180 2.48
Joe Niekro1982NL2524.6024.60217120 2.47
Don Drysdale1960NL2524.5024.50215142 2.84
Dick Radatz1964AL2424.5024.50516929 2.29
Fergie Jenkins1969NL2524.5024.501121151 3.21
Dave Stieb1983AL2424.4024.40217120 3.04
Steve Carlton1969NL2424.3024.301217110 2.17
Bill Lee1973AL2424.3024.30617111 2.75
Juan Marichal1968NL2424.2024.2032690 2.43
Vern Law1959NL2424.1024.1011891 2.98
Ted Abernathy1967NL2424.1024.1026328 1.27
Whitey Ford1964AL2424.0024.0061761 2.13
Doug Corbett1980AL2424.0024.0028623 1.98

The last entry on the list was the ever-underrated Dave Stieb in 1983. The highest Win Share for an overlooked pitcher since was Tim Hudson's 23 Win Shares in 2002 (15-9, 2.98). I guess the paucity of 20-game winners has allowed voters to focus more on the best performances not just the most wins (John Kruk notwithstanding).

By the way, for the players ranked number one above here are the players who beat them for the award:

YrLgNameTot WSPitchWS
1956NLDon Newcombe26.6025.20
1957NLWarren Spahn21.5021.50
1959ALEarly Wynn22.8020.70
1963NLSandy Koufax32.1032.10
1969NLTom Seaver32.2032.20

Next, we'll look at Rookie of the Year, and that gets very complicated.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.