Highland Park's Clayton Kershaw Wins First MVP Award, Third Cy Young.
It might not have been a clean sweep, but, in the past 48 hours, Dallas County natives have taken home three of Major League Baseball's four biggest end-of-year awards.
Moments ago, Highland Park native and Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw earned his first-ever National League MVP award, receiving 18 first-place votes on his way to becoming the first NL pitcher to win the award since Bob Gibson did it in 1968. He's also the first Dodger to win the award since Kirk Gibson in 1988.
More impressive? Just yesterday, Kershaw received all 30 first-place votes to take home his second consecutive Cy Young Award, and his third such trophy in four years. With today's honor, Kershaw becomes just the 11th player to have won an MVP Award and Cy Young Award in the same year. The feat was most recently accomplished by Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander in 2011.
For Kershaw, the award was somewhat expected. The lefty led the NL in both wins (21) and ERA (1.77), and, as the Morning News's Gerry Fraley points out, Kershaw's six complete games were more than those put up by the entire staffs of 12 NL teams. He is now one of just nine pitchers with three or more Cy Youngs.
For Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber of Coppell, on the other hand, his American League Cy Young Award win yesterday certainly came out of left field. Kluber's $514,000 salary this season (just his second full season in the majors) was just a hair above the league minimum of $500,000. Still, his 18-9 record, 2.44 ERA and 269 strikeouts were enough to earn the starter 17 first-place votes in this year's voting. He narrowly edged out Seattle's “King” Felix Hernandez, who took the other 13 first-place votes, and was considered something of the favorite heading into yesterday's voting.
Both Kershaw and Kluber were awarded bonuses for their Cy Young victories, with Kershaw earning a $1 million, and Kluber taking home just $10,000.
In other end-of-season MLB award news, Dallas resident Buck Showalter won his third American League Manager of the Year award after leading the Baltimore Orioles to 96 wins and a trip to the AL Championship Series. His first two Manager of the Year awards came in 2004 with the Rangers and 1994 with the Yankees.
Clayton Kershaw cover photo by Keith Allison, via WikiCommons.