November 22, 2011

Verlander Adds MVP Award to His Collection

By - Kris Fletcher

Justin Verlander, who last week won the AL Cy Young Award, was named the American League's Most Valuable Player on Monday, making him the first starting pitcher to win the award in twenty-five years.

Photo by: Leon Halip
The Detroit Tigers right-hander beat out Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox and Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. Verlander received 13 of the 28 first-place votes in the balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Bautista got five first-place votes, while Ellsbury had four.

"Not even in my wildest dreams had I thought of this," Verlander said. "I want to say it's a dream come true, but I can't say that, because my dream had already come true - it was winning the Cy Young. The next dream is to win a World Series." baseball writer Jon Paul Morosi explained his vote for Verlander: "In the end, a position player is supposed to win the award except in cases of exceptional and historic years by a pitcher, and in my estimation, that is what Verlander had in 2011. It was one of the best pitching performances in multiple generations."

Verlander went 24-5 this season. He won the most games by a pitcher in either league in nine years. He also led the American League in strikeouts (250) and ERA (2.40).

Boston's Roger Clemens had been the most recent starting pitcher to win the MVP. He did so back in 1986, with a record of 24-4. Oakland's Dennis Eckersley was the last pitcher of any kind to win it, doing so in 1992 as a closer.

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