RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A week after winning the Cy Young Award, Justin Verlander took home an even more prestigious prize on Monday. The Goochland product became the first starting pitcher in a quarter-century voted Most Valuable Player.
Verlander won despite receiving just 13 of 28 first place votes, and he was left off one ballot entirely.
Boston center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was second with four firsts and 242 points, followed by Toronto right fielder Jose Bautista with five firsts and 231 points, Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson with 215 and Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera with 193.
Verlander won the AL's pitching triple crown, going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts, the most wins in the major leagues since Oakland's Bob Welch went 27-6 in 1990. The Old Dominion grad pitched his second career no-hitter at Toronto on May 7.
Last week, he was a unanimous Cy Young winner. On Monday, he became the first pitcher voted MVP since Oakland's Dennis Eckersley in 1992 and the first starting pitcher since Boston's Roger Clemens in 1986.
The 2006 AL Rookie of the Year, Verlander joined the Brooklyn Dodgers' Don Newcombe as the only players to win all three major awards in their careers.
Other pitchers to win MVP and Cy Young in the same year were Newcombe (1956), Los Angeles' Sandy Koufax (1963), St. Louis' Bob Gibson and Detroit's Denny McLain (1968), Oakland's Vida Blue (1971), Milwaukee's Rollie Fingers (1981) and Detroit's Willie Hernandez (1984).
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