Saturday, November 05, 2005

November 5th, 1996

Derek Jeter Wins Rookie of the Year Award

Having pointed out the number of times the Rookie of the Year award has ended up looking real stupid a few years down the road, it only seems fair to point out some times the voters got it right on both the best rookie of the year and the player who would develop into a great. Such a year was 1996 when the American League voters overwhelmingly gave the award to Derek Jeter, who won all twenty-eight first place votes. 2001 was a good year for both leagues, as every first place vote in the National League went to Albert Pujols while the AL saw all but one first place vote go to quasi-rookie Ichiro!

Getting it right isn't just a recent phenomenon, however. 1974 saw another legendary figure in the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry accumulate all the first place votes; this time it was
Boston's Carlton Fisk. In 1967 the voters gave the awards to a pair of all-time legends, the National League's Tom Seaver and American League's Rod Carew. In 1956 the voters gave the awards to another pair of future Hall of Famers, Frank Robinson in the NL and Luis Aparicio. And to its everlasting credit, when the award debuted in 1947--there was only one then rather than the two league format that would debut in 1949--they made a great choice, presenting the award to Brooklyn's Jackie Robinson.

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