Dickey takes home Cy Young Award
Nov 20, 2012 | 6227 views | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo: Michael O'Kane
Photo: Michael O'Kane
By a wide margin, R.A. Dickey became the first Mets pitcher since Dwight Gooden did it in 1985 to win the Cy Young award.

Dickey received 27 first place votes form the Baseball Writers’s Association of America, while runner-up Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers received only two.

Dickey is the first knuckleballer to win the award.

"This is a story that's beyond me," he said. "It transcends R.A. Dickey. It's bigger than that."

On his way to becoming the Mets' first 20-game winner in more than two decades, Dickey led the majors in strikeouts, innings, complete games and shutouts, and ranked second in wins and ERA.

He only added to the legend that began when he joined the Mets early in 2010 as an apparent Minor League burnout. This year he pitched arguably better than any knuckleballer in history. Often throwing his signature pitch at speeds in excess of 80 mph, he confused hitters with multiple variations of the pitch, visibly improving at the age of 37 when many major league pitchers are winding down their careers.

Dickey set a franchise record with 32 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, later extending that to 44 2/3 innings without an earned run. Seven times he struck out at least 10 batters in a game, including a career-high 13 in his 20th victory on Sept. 27.

"This is fitting recognition for a remarkable season," general manager Sandy Alderson said in a statement. "We are very proud of R.A. and what he achieved in 2012."

Dickey also feels the award adds a measure of legitimacy to his signature pitch. Within a half-hour of winning, he received 127 text messages and roughly three dozen phone calls. His first responses were to Phil Niekro, Tim Wakefield and Charlie Hough, all of whom tutored him in the years after he became a full-time knuckleballer in 2005.

"This is something to be celebrated with everybody," he said. "Not least among these are the fans in New York. They will never know how much it meant for them to come out when we were having a tough season, and get loud and put up signs, all kinds of things like that."

If Dickey has his way, he will be pitching in front of them again in 2013. The Mets recently exercised the $5 million team option on his contract for next season and are in the process of negotiating a long-term extension. But Dickey's name has also swirled in trade rumors as the Mets look to improve upon other aspects of their rebuilding club.

"I'm not afraid to say that it's been an incredible experience with the New York Mets," he added. "I certainly would love to stand on Opening Day at the plate and lift up the Cy Young trophy and tell everybody that they were a part of this. And I hope that that will happen. I really do."
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