Justin Verlander becomes the first pitcher to win the Most Valuable Player award since Dennis Eckersley in 1992. (Getty Images)

Verlander First Starting Pitcher to Win MVP Since '86


Last week Detroit’s Justin Verlander unanimously won the AL Cy Young Award. Today he has become the first starting pitcher in a quarter-century to win a Most Valuable Player award.

Verlander earned the American League MVP honor Monday, receiving 13 of 28 first-place votes and 280 points in voting announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

“It was such a relief to get that phone call,” Verlander said. “Obviously, I want to say it’s a dream come true, but winning the Cy Young was a dream come true.”

Boston center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was second with 242 points, followed by Toronto right fielder Jose Bautista with 231 points. Verlander received 196 points in last week’s Cy Young balloting, beating the Angels Jered Weaver by 99 points.

Verlander went 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts to take the AL pitching triple crown. He is the first pitcher to win MVP since Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley in 1992 and the first starter since Boston’s Roger Clemens in 1986.

“It was such a relief to get that phone call,” Verlander said. “Obviously, I want to say it’s a dream come true, but winning the Cy Young was a dream come true.”

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Tags: AL MVP Dennis Eckersley Jacoby Ellsbury Jered Weaver Jose Bautista Justin Verlander Roger Clemens