Verlander Wins AL MVP Award

Verlander.jpg By Courtney Swift — 11/28/11
Justin Verlander is the American League’s Most Valuable Player. He is the first pitcher in 25 years to claim the honor since Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley in 1992. He also is the first starter to win since Roger Clemens in 1986.
Verlander won the AL pitching Triple Crown going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts. He received 13 of 28 first place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury came in second with four first place votes. Bautista was third with five first place votes. Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson and Detroit first basemen Miguel Cabrera followed.
History has been against pitchers. After Eckersley, Pedro Martinez of the Boston Red Sox was the only pitcher to finish high in the balloting. He placed second in 1999.
Verlander’s record is the best the MLB has seen in more than 20 years. Oakland’s Bob Welch went 27-6 in 1990. Verlander pitched his second career no-hitter against Toronto in May. This opened up debate if pitchers could win the MVP award.