Skip to main content

Offseason sweep


I saw an interesting factoid from High Heat Stats MLB a couple of days ago.

It said that with Clayton Kershaw winning both the NL Cy Young Award and the MVP Award that it was the sixth time that the Dodgers have done that since the Cy Young was first awarded in 1956.

High Heat Stats said it was "astounding," so I assumed that the Dodgers have done this more often than any other major league team.

Eager to latch on to any superior news about my team these days, I did a quick bit of research and the Dodgers do indeed hold the record. The team closest to them is the Tigers, who have won the Cy Young Award and MVP in the same year four times, including twice in the last four years.

In order to accomplish this feat, it helps to have dominant pitchers. There is still a bias against awarding a pitcher the MVP award (I've long since come over from that side of thinking, I mean, who cares). So if you're going to sway a majority of the voters, you're going to have to pitch in an extra convincing way.

Fortunately, the Dodgers have had the pitchers to do just that. Out of the six times they've swept the two awards, three times it was one guy doing it.

But here is the rundown of the six times the Dodgers have achieved the Award Sweep:




2014: NL Cy Young Award: Clayton Kershaw; NL MVP: Clayton Kershaw

Two diecuts of Kershaw in the same insert set is still stupid, but at least I made it work for me here.




1988: NL Cy Young Award: Orel Hershiser; NL MVP: Kirk Gibson

The Dodgers wouldn't have won a World Series without these two. They might have even finished fourth.





1974: NL Cy Young Award: Mike Marshall; NL MVP: Steve Garvey

The story of Garvey and Marshall are well-known, but thinking back to 1974 it had to be an absolute surprise when these two emerged as the best of the best.




1963: NL Cy Young Award: Sandy Koufax; NL MVP: Sandy Koufax

If this isn't incentive to get cracking on acquiring '60s cards of Koufax next year I don't know what is.




1962: NL Cy Young Award: Don Drysdale; NL MVP: Maury Wills

I think Topps should just create a full-fledged 1962 Topps-style Maury Wills card and be done with it. I've seen so many fake versions of the card, it might as well be real. Throw some goofy stamp on it if you have to. If it worked for Alex Gordon, it'll work for Wills.




1956: Cy Young: Don Newcombe; NL MVP: Don Newcombe

There was just one Cy Young for the AL and the NL to share in 1956 and Newcombe got it after winning 27 games.

Also, I really like my contrasting '57 Topps Newcombes.


One notable fact about these six years. The Dodgers reached the postseason each year (what a disaster if they had both award winners and didn't).

They won the World Series just two of those years (1963 and 1988) and lost in the World Series two other years (1956 and 1974).

The 1962 team was the least successful, getting knocked out of a berth in the World Series in a special three-game playoff with the Giants.

Or you could say the 2004 team was the least successful. They won their division to make the NLDS, but couldn't do more than that, which you could blame on Kershaw's performance against the Cardinals (I won't) or the Dodgers' horrid bullpen (I will) or the Dodgers' unreliable offense (I will).

At any rate, Kershaw's award sweep is great news for Dodgers fans eager to forget the stupidity of the postseason. And it reaffirms what I pretty much thought back in 2008 about Kershaw: that we were going to see great things from him.

My prediction back in February 2009 was only a little over the top:





He does have three Cy Young Awards and 2015 hasn't happened yet. And he is the greatest Dodger pitcher since Sandy Koufax.

As for that World Series prediction, I guess that would work only for the Giants.

Ugh.

That de-escalated quickly.

Comments

Zippy Zappy said…
I thought this post was going to be about how the Dodgers acquired some of the smartest front office personnel in the industry this offseason.
It's only a matter of time before Kershaw passes Koufax as the greatest southpaw the majors ever had.

Popular posts from this blog

G.O.A.T, the '80s: 30-21

  I often call this current period of the television sports calendar the black hole of sports programming. The time between the end of the Super Bowl and the beginning of televised Spring Training baseball games is an empty void when I'm looking for something to watch on traditional television. I don't watch the NBA and the NHL on TV holds my interest for maybe a period. College basketball I can't watch until the tournament. This didn't used to be as much of a problem back when I could turn instead to my favorite sitcoms in February. Do you remember when February was "sweeps month"? (Maybe it still is, I don't know). Networks would make sure that every top show aired original episodes that month, no reruns. So you'd always have something to view during the week even when the sports scene was boring. (I know, people have multiple streaming viewing options now. But I find myself going weeks sometimes before I see something I want to view on Netflix or Am

The return of COMC and a ridiculous collecting quest

  For the first time in exactly a year, I received a shipment of cards from COMC last week. I wouldn't say COMC is truly back back. I did pay extra for the express shipping so I wouldn't have to wait however long we're waiting for COMC shipments these days. But the cards arrived in short fashion and it was nice to see something in the mailbox from my preferred online card site for over a decade until last year. I had waited a year to order what was in my cart. I didn't want to be one of those people who paid and then waited nine months for shipment. I mean, what if I ordered them and COMC went under? Those were the kind of questions that were floating in my head last year.   That meant that I did lose a couple of items out of my cart, but no big deal. Nothing in there was anything highly sought-after and I merely replaced whatever I lost with a new version or something else I liked. Many of my collecting interests are not high on anyone's radar, especially 2020 fli

Say hey, you guys

  One of the most significant cards in my collecting history arrived at my door today. The 1956 Topps Willie Mays card ties my formative collecting days to my current collecting existence, confirms what I believe in in this hobby, and realizes dreams from long ago I never thought possible. It also sets a couple of personal records. It is the most I've ever spent on a single card. Yet it didn't hurt my wallet nor cause any regret. In terms of a cardboard acquisition it is about as perfect as it gets. No guilt. All power and beauty. It removes a considerable road block in my quest to complete the 1956 Topps set. It was one of the Big Three that I fretted over for years. "How would I ever obtain that card?" And now it's here. I don't have to remind you that baseball legends from the 1950s (and '60s and '70s) are departing at a rapid pace. That wasn't a top consideration in landing this card. But with Willie's age (he will be 90 in May) and the way