There didn’t seem to be a whole lot of debate about who would win this year’s Cy Young Awards as the best pitcher in the American League and the National League. Most predictions had the Miami Marlins‘ Sandy Alcantara and the Houston Astros‘ Justin Verlander as heavy favorites, and that proved apt, with both winning unanimously. But that pair of unanimous wins created a MLB awards result only twice seen before, and not since 1968, as Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post noted:
Only the second time since 1956 that both leagues Cy Young choices won unanimously. The last time was 1968: Denny McLain and some guy named Bob Gibson.
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) November 17, 2022
Considering just how many things have happened in MLB history, it is always interesting when something comes up that hasn’t been seen in a while. And it’s understandable why this one hasn’t. In most years, there are at least a couple of reasonable candidates battling it out for top awards like the Cy Young, and the unanimous level gets harder still when you apply it to both the AL Cy Young and the NL Cy Young. But Verlander (seen above on Nov. 5 ahead of Game 6 of the World Series, which his Astros would win to seal the series) and Alcantara certainly stood out to the MLB awards voters this year. Here are those voting results, via MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and the MLB on Fox feed:
Sandy Alcantara wins the NL Cy Young in a unanimous vote. The full voting results: pic.twitter.com/SJxsL8h9eA
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 16, 2022
Justin Verlander UNANIMOUSLY wins the AL Cy Young Award, receiving all 30 first place votes! pic.twitter.com/yP4GNk6q74
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 17, 2022
This is the third career Cy Young for the 39-year-old Verlander, who posted a 1.75 ERA and 185 strikeouts with an 18-4 record across 175 innings for the Astros this regular season. He also made some extra history after missing all of 2021, as MLB.com’s Sarah Langs noted:
Justin Verlander did not pitch in 2021 while recovering from Tommy John surgery
He is the 1st pitcher to win Cy Young after throwing 0 MLB IP the year prior
The prior fewest innings was 17 ⅔, by Fernando Valenzuela in 1980 before becoming the only rookie CYA winner in 1981
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) November 17, 2022
It’s the first career Cy Young for the 26-year-old Alcantara, in his fifth year in the majors; he recorded a 2.28 ERA and 200 strikeouts with a 14-9 record across 211 innings for the Marlins this season. He also became the first Marlins’ pitcher to win a Cy Young with that team.
The Marlins were 1 of 3 teams to never have a Cy Young Award winner (award began in 1956)
that list is down to 2!
Teams without a Cy Young winner, by 1st year of franchise:
Rangers, 1961 https://t.co/vjWADcwo5j
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) November 16, 2022
Both Verlander and Alcantara had amazing years. And the two of them are now linked in history.
[Chelsea Janes on Twitter; photo from Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports]