David Price, R.A. Dickey sweep 2012 Cy Young Awards

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:23pm

In baseball terms, Middle Tennessee pitchers batted 1.000 Wednesday.

David Price and R.A. Dickey won the American League and National League Cy Young Awards, respectively.

The awards, which annually recognize the top pitcher in each league, were determined by a vote of select members of the Baseball Writers Association of America and the winners were revealed live on MLB Network.

“It means a ton,” Price said during the broadcast. “This is very humbling. … My legs are shaking. I’m extremely happy right now. I don’t set individual goals … so if I didn’t have my teammates out there … without those guys none of this was possible.”

Added Dickey: “It’s a great honor, and I am not a self-made man by any stretch of the imagination. There have been countless people who have poured into me into a way that has changed my life.”

To say they got to the top differently is an understatement.

Dickey, 37, became the first knuckleballer ever to win the award and was an overwhelming choice. The New York Mets right-hander was named first on 27 of the 32 ballots cast.

Price, 27, won by the smallest margin in American League history. The Tampa Bay Rays left-hander was named first on 14 of the 28 ballots, second on 13 and third on one for a total of 154 points. Detroit’s Justin Verlander, the 2011 winner, was named first on 13, second on 13 and third on the other two. Voters named five players on ballots and points were awarded as follows: seven for first, four for second then three, two and one.

The only time the vote was closer was 1969, when Mike Cuellar and Denny McLain shared the award.

“I don’t even know what to say right now,” Price said. “I have a lot of emotions going through my body right now. To be on a ballot with guys like Justin Verlander and [third place] Jered Weaver, they’re in this conversation every year. … My hat’s off to those guys. They pitched their tails off all year and I’m very happy.”

Price, a Murfreesboro native and former Vanderbilt All-American, is becoming a regular in his own right. He was the runner-up following the 2010 season.

On the other hand, Dickey, a Nashville native and former University of Tennessee All-American, was nowhere near one of the game’s best pitchers for much of his career. He pointed out that in 2010, for example, he was the first player the Mets cut during spring training.

His switch to, and master of the knuckleball, however, transformed him into what BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O’Connell “one of the feel-good stories of 2012.”

“My hopes always outweighed my doubts, which kept me going,” Dickey said. “… I’ve had a lot of people encourage me through some pretty dark times with the knuckleball and in life. So, this is the culmination of a lot of people. I’m just the piece on the game board, so to speak.”

Dickey topped the National League in strikeouts (230), complete games (five), innings pitched (227.2), shutouts (three) and quality starts (27). He was second in both wins (20) and earned-run average (2.73).

Price led the American League in wins (20) and ERA (2.56) and was sixth with 205 strikeouts.

“I’m pumped right now,” Price said. “My legs are like noodles and I don’t think I could be any happier right now.

“Baseball is forever evolving. If you don’t change with it, you’re going to get left in the dust. That’s something I’m looking forward to. … I’m looking forward to the 2013 season, … but I’m going to enjoy this for now. This is definitely a good part of my offseason.”

7 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 11/14/12 at 8:39

This is not only huge for Price and Dickey this is huge for anyone that is proud of being from Nashville.

By: TITAN1 on 11/15/12 at 7:38

That would leave you out, rasp/rump/richgoose/frankbrown. Props to both! Well deserved!

By: jwk6179 on 11/15/12 at 9:00

I'm not surpised about David Price winning the AL Cy Young Award, based on the season he had. I am surprised though that R.A. Dickey won by such a big margin over Gio Gonzalez for the NL Cy Young. I really thought it would be much closer than it was, with Gonxalez coming out on top based on being on a contending team, while Dickey was the lone bright spot for the New York Mets.

By: PKVol on 11/15/12 at 9:07

On the surface, these two would appear to be complete opposites: Righty / Lefty, Knuckleballer / Flame-thrower, Finesse / Power, UT / Vandy, Private school (MBA) / public school (Blackman), Back end of career / most of career remaining, White / Black, however, none of these things matter in life or baseball. They are both humble, giving and classy guys, which is what you'd want to represent middle Tennessee. It is good to see that the BBWAA picked these guys, stats are important, but when there is marginal difference in stats, it's nice to know they went with character in making the selection.

By: fightcrib on 11/15/12 at 11:42

This is huge for Vanderbilt baseball recruiting. Corbs is now licking his chops. Vanderbilt willl soon be to baseball what Kentucky is to basketball in terms of dominating the top recurits, not in terms of cheating and inbred fans that light couches on fire though.

I agree with R72 though. Just Sayin..

Fightcrib, BNA

By: fightcrib on 11/15/12 at 11:44

Ha that reminds me, they should make a beer commercial where a guy goes into a bar and says give me a lite, and a Kentucky fan lites a couch on fire. And then they guy is like "I meant Bud Light"

Fightcrib, BNA

By: Mike Burch on 11/15/12 at 1:56

Dickey had a season for the ages, leading the NL in most of the major pitching categories despite playing for a team that was mostly woeful when he wasn't the starter.

Even Phil Neikro was in awe of what Dickey accomplished with the knuckleball, which is sort of like throwing a butterfly and guiding it across the plate for a strike while musclebound men try to hammer it over the fence. Much more often than not, Dickey's butterflies won the battles.