Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rookie of the Year Facts

One of my first posts on this blog was a repository of fun facts about the Rookie of the Year Award. Since that post was written as a standalone piece, I thought it was necessary to create a separate post to serve as home base for any future updates.

Here's the most up-to-date information as of November 12, 2018:

ROY Winners By Franchise

The Dodgers and their tradition of homegrown players have produced twice as many Rookies of the Year as any other team with 18, and the Yankees lead the American League with half that total. The Diamondbacks are the only current team without a ROY winner to call its own, and the Pirates, whose existence predates the award itself, never had a winner until 2004.

Dodgers (18)

Jackie Robinson (1947)
Don Newcombe (1949)
Joe Black (1952)
Jim Gilliam (1953)
Frank Howard (1960)
Jim Lefebvre (1965)
Ted Sizemore (1969)
Rick Sutcliffe (1979)
Steve Howe (1980)
Fernando Valenzuela (1981)
Steve Sax (1982)
Eric Karros (1992)
Mike Piazza (1993)
Raul Mondesi (1994)
Hideo Nomo (1995)
Todd Hollandsworth (1996)
Corey Seager (2016)
Cody Bellinger (2017)

Yankees (9)

Gil McDougald (1951)
Bob Grim (1954)
Tony Kubek (1957)
Tom Tresh (1962)
Stan Bahnsen (1968)
Thurman Munson (1970)
Dave Righetti (1981)
Derek Jeter (1996)
Aaron Judge (2017)

Athletics (8)

Harry Byrd (1952)
Jose Canseco (1986)
Mark McGwire (1987)
Walt Weiss (1988)
Ben Grieve (1998)
Bobby Crosby (2004)
Huston Street (2005)
Andrew Bailey (2009)

Braves (8)
Alvin Dark (1948)
Sam Jethroe (1950)
Earl Williams (1971)
Bob Horner (1978)
David Justice (1990)
Rafael Furcal (2000)
Craig Kimbrel (2011) 
Ronald Acuna (2018)

Browns/Orioles (7)

Roy Sievers (1949)
Ron Hansen (1960)
Curt Blefary (1965)
Al Bumbry (1973)
Eddie Murray (1977)
Cal Ripken (1982)
Gregg Olson (1989)

Reds (7)

Frank Robinson (1956)
Pete Rose (1963)
Tommy Helms (1966)
Johnny Bench (1968)
Pat Zachry (1976)
Chris Sabo (1988)
Scott Williamson (1999)

Senators/Twins (7)

Albie Pearson (1958)
Bob Allison (1959)
Tony Oliva (1964)
Rod Carew (1967)
John Castino (1979)
Chuck Knoblauch (1991)
Marty Cordova (1995)

Cardinals (6)

Wally Moon (1954)
Bill Virdon (1955)
Bake McBride (1974)
Vince Coleman (1985)
Todd Worrell (1986)
Albert Pujols (2001)

Cubs (6)

Billy Williams (1961)
Ken Hubbs (1962)
Jerome Walton (1989)
Kerry Wood (1998)
Geovany Soto (2008)
Kris Bryant (2015)

Giants (6)

Willie Mays (1951)
Orlando Cepeda (1958)
Willie McCovey (1959)
Gary Matthews (1973)
John Montefusco (1975)
Buster Posey (2010) 

Red Sox (6)

Walt Dropo (1950)
Don Schwall (1961)
Carlton Fisk (1972)
Fred Lynn (1975)
Nomar Garciaparra (1997)
Dustin Pedroia (2007)

White Sox (6)

Luis Aparicio (1956)
Gary Peters (1963)
Tommie Agee (1966)
Ron Kittle (1983)
Ozzie Guillen (1985)
Jose Abreu (2014)

Mets (5)
Tom Seaver (1967)
Jon Matlack (1972)
Darryl Strawberry (1983)
Dwight Gooden (1984)
Jacob DeGrom (2014)

Tigers (5)

Harvey Kuenn (1953)
Mark Fidrych (1976)
Lou Whitaker (1978)
Justin Verlander (2006)
Michael Fulmer (2016)

Indians (4)

Herb Score (1955)
Chris Chambliss (1971)
Joe Charboneau (1980)
Sandy Alomar (1990)

Marlins (4)

Dontrelle Willis (2003)
Hanley Ramirez (2006)
Chris Coghlan (2009)
Jose Fernandez (2013)

Phillies (4)

Jack Sanford (1957)
Dick Allen (1964)
Scott Rolen (1997)
Ryan Howard (2005)

Royals (4)

Lou Piniella (1969)
Bob Hamelin (1994)
Carlos Beltran (1999)
Angel Berroa (2003)

Angels (3)

Tim Salmon (1993)
Mike Trout (2012)
Shohei Ohtani (2018)

Expos/Nationals (3)
Carl Morton (1970)
Andre Dawson (1977)
Bryce Harper (2012)

Mariners (3)

Alvin Davis (1984)
Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000)
Ichiro Suzuki (2001)

Rays (3)

Evan Longoria (2008)
Jeremy Hellickson (2011)
Wil Myers (2013)

Astros (2)

Jeff Bagwell (1991)
Carlos Correa (2015)

Blue Jays (2)

Alfredo Griffin (1979)
Eric Hinske (2002)

Brewers (2)

Pat Listach (1992)
Ryan Braun (2007)

Padres (2)

Butch Metzger (1976)
Benito Santiago (1987)

Rangers (2)

Mike Hargrove (1974)
Neftali Feliz (2010)

Pirates (1)
Jason Bay (2004)

Rockies (1)

Jason Jennings (2002)

Diamondbacks (0)

Interestingly enough, the White Sox and Reds had their first three winners in the same three years: 1956, 1963 and 1966.

The Dodgers hold the two longest streaks of winning the award, five from 1992 to 1996 and four from 1979 to 1982. Besides them, only the Athletics from 1986 to 1988 have won as many as three in a row.

Pat Listach was the first Brewer to win the ROY. Before him, no former or future winner had ever even played for the Brewers.

ROY Winners By Geography

Which non-U.S. country has had the most native sons receive the trophy? That would be the Dominican Republic, whose seven winners currently beat out Puerto Rico's six. As you can see, the recent influx of Dominican and Japanese players has produced many a rookie sensation.

Dominican Republic (7)

Alfredo Griffin (1979)
Raul Mondesi (1994)
Rafael Furcal (2000)
Albert Pujols (2001)
Angel Berroa (2003)
Hanley Ramirez (2006)
Neftali Feliz (2010)

Puerto Rico (6)

Orlando Cepeda (1958)
Benito Santiago (1987)
Sandy Alomar (1990)
Carlos Beltran (1999)
Geovany Soto (2008)
Carlos Correa (2015)

Cuba (4)

Tony Oliva (1964)
Jose Canseco (1986)
Jose Fernandez (2013)
Jose Abreu (2014)

Japan (4)

Hideo Nomo (1995)
Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000)
Ichiro Suzuki (2001)
Shohei Ohtani (2018)

Venezuela (3)
Luis Aparicio (1956)
Ozzie Guillen (1985)
Ronald Acuna (2018)

Canada (1)

Jason Bay (2004)

Mexico (1)

Fernando Valenzuela (1981)

2000 and 2001 saw repeats in both leagues for the country the ROY came from: Japan for the AL and the Dominican Republic for the NL.

Interestingly, the only Venezuelan ROYs had been White Sox shortstops until Ronald Acuna won the award in 2018.

What about the American-born players? Among U.S. States, California leads the way with 21 ROYs born there.

Twenty-one winners


Nine winners

New Jersey

Eight winners


Six winners


Five winners

New York

Four winners


Three winners

North Carolina

Two winners


One winner

South Carolina
Canal Zone

Since the Canal Zone was officially U.S. territory until 1979, Rod Carew qualifies as an American-born ROY.

ROY Winners and the Hall of Fame

16 winners are currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame: Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Luis Aparicio, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams, Tom Seaver, Rod Carew, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, Andre Dawson, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr., Mike Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell.

Both winners from 1956 (Frank Robinson and Aparicio), 1967 (Seaver and Carew) and 1977 (Dawson and Murray) have been enshrined. 2001 (Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki) has a good chance of joining this list someday.

ROY Winners and the World Series

24 players have played in the World Series the same year they won the ROY: Jackie Robinson, Alvin Dark, Don Newcombe, Willie Mays, Gil McDougald, Joe Black, Jim Gilliam, Tony Kubek, Tom Tresh, Jim Lefebvre, Fred Lynn, Pat Zachry, Fernando Valenzuela, Dave Righetti, Walt Weiss, Chuck Knoblauch, Derek Jeter, Dontrelle Willis, Justin Verlander, Dustin Pedroia, Evan Longoria, Buster Posey, Neftali Feliz, and Cody Bellinger.

Vince Coleman's 1985 Cardinals won the pennant, but he didn't participate in the World Series due to injury.

Only three World Series since 1946 have not featured a ROY winner: 1950, 1974 and 1982.

Three World Series (1951, 1981 and 2010) have pitted the teams of both leagues' winners against each other.

Managerial ROY Winners

Thirteen ROY winners have gone on to be Major League managers: Alvin Dark, Harvey Kuenn, Bill Virdon, Frank Robinson, Frank Howard, Pete Rose, Jim Lefebvre, Tommy Helms, Lou Piniella, Mike Hargrove, Ozzie Guillen, Walt Weiss, and Sandy Alomar.

Five of those thirteen led teams to a pennant, and three (Dark, Piniella, Guillen) captured a World Series title.

Seven players have won the ROY in a season where they were managed by a former ROY winner: Chris Chambliss, Darryl Strawberry, Chris Sabo, Gregg Olson, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Ichiro Suzuki and Geovany Soto.

Chris Sabo was actually managed by two former winners during the season he won: Pete Rose and Tommy Helms. If you think two in one year is something, Helms was succeeded by Lou Piniella, meaning three straight Cincinnati managers were former ROY winners.

ROY Teammates

Which teams have had the most ROY winners suit up for them? The record by a single team is the 1997 Los Angeles Dodgers with seven. Several others have had enough to form a ROY clique.

Seven winners:

1997 Dodgers (Murray, Worrell, Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo, Hollandsworth)

Six winners:

1995-96 Dodgers (Worrell, Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo, Hollandsworth)
2005 Cubs (Hollandsworth, Garciaparra, Wood, Grieve, Williamson, Soto)

Five winners:

1961-65 Giants (Mays, Kuenn, Sanford, Cepeda, McCovey)
1993 Dodgers (Strawberry, Worrell, Karros, Piazza, Mondesi)
1998 Dodgers (Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo, Hollandsworth)
2000 Yankees (Gooden, Canseco, Justice, Knoblauch, Jeter)
2016 Angels (Pujols, Street, Soto, Bailey, Trout)

Four winners:

1954-55 Dodgers (J. Robinson, Newcombe, Black, Gilliam)
1959-60 Giants (Mays, Sanford, Cepeda, McCovey)
1960-61 White Sox (Sievers, Score, Aparicio, Peters)
1970-71 Yankees (Hansen, Blefary, Bahnsen, Munson)
1972 Mets (Mays, Agee, Seaver, Matlack)
1977 Reds (Rose, Seaver, Bench, Zachry)
1979 Yankees (Piniella, Munson, Chambliss, Righetti)
1981 Dodgers (Sutcliffe, Howe, Valenzuela, Sax)
1982 Indians (McBride, Hargrove, Sutcliffe, Charboneau)
1983 Dodgers (Zachry, Howe, Valenzuela, Sax)
1985-86 White Sox (Seaver, Fisk, Kittle, Guillen)
1987 Athletics (Griffin, Canseco, McGwire, Weiss)
1988 Orioles (Lynn, Murray, Ripken, Olson)
1991 Dodgers (Murray, Griffin, Strawberry, Karros)
1993 Orioles (Sutcliffe, Valenzuela, Ripken, Olson)
1994 Dodgers (Worrell, Karros, Piazza, Mondesi)
1996 Yankees (Howe, Strawberry, Gooden, Jeter)
2004 Cubs (Hollandsworth, Garciaparra, Wood, Grieve)
2017 Angels (Pujols, Street, Bailey, Trout)

ROYS by Position

In compiling this list, it had to be clear to me that the player was truly identified with one specific position. If he was moved all over the field or spent more than roughly a third of his time at a position other than his primary one, I didn't include him. Nine players (Sievers, McDougald, Kubek, Blefary, E. Williams, Charboneau, Ripken, Justice and Pujols) fall into that category.

Not surprisingly, the most common position among winners is pitcher. No fewer than 38 hurlers have won the award, better than a quarter of all winners. After that, shortstops lead the way with 17 winners.

Pitcher (38)
Shortstop (17)
Center Field (14)
First Base (13)
Left Field (13)
Second Base (10)
Third Base (10)
Right Field (9)
Catcher (8)
Designated Hitter (3)

The three DH's were Eddie Murray, Bob Hamelin, and Shohei Ohtani, in case you were wondering.

The last position to get off the board was catcher (the DH doesn't really count, and it didn't exist yet when the award began). In 1968, the ROY's 22nd year of existence, Johnny Bench finally brought home the hardware for his fellow backstops.

Six center fielders won the award in the 1950's, one won it in the 1960's, and three won it in the 1970's. Since then, only four have won it.

ROY Uniform Numbers

Every number from 1 to 46 has been worn by a player the year he won the ROY. 48, 49, 51, 55, 57, 58, 79, and 99 have all made appearances too. The most commonly worn number for a ROY is 5, with eight.

Eight wearers

5: Jethroe, Lefebvre, Bench, Horner, Bagwell, Garciaparra, Pujols, Seager

Seven wearers

15: Sievers, Tresh, Allen, Munson, Alomar, Salmon, Pedroia

Six wearers

3: Dropo, Hansen, Blefary, Sax, Hamelin, Longoria

Five wearers

1: Agee, Bumbry, Whitaker, Furcal, Correa
16: Hubbs, Gooden, Listach, Nomo, Fernandez
20: Moon, F. Robinson, Fidrych, Walton, Street
34: Kubek, Charboneau, Valenzuela, Wood, Harper

Four wearers

2: Dark, Castino, Jeter, Ramirez
9: Virdon, Piniella, Samtiago, Myers
17: Sabo, Rolen, Bryant, Ohtani
19: Gilliam, Helms, Lynn, Righetti
26: Kuenn, Allison, B. Williams, Montefusco
32: E. Williams, Matlack, Jennings, Fulmer
36: Newcombe, Matthews, Metzger, Beltran

The only two ROYs to wear number 7 have been Walt Weiss and Bobby Crosby, both shortstops for the Athletics.

21 ROYS have had their numbers retired, including Frank Robinson with three different teams and Rod Carew and Carlton Fisk by two different teams. Jackie Robinson's #42, of course, is retired by all of Major League Baseball.

Anything else you want to know?


  1. Two players, Steve Sax and Todd Worrell, have the distinction of winning ROY in the season after they played in a World Series.

  2. True. Don't forget about Todd Hollandsworth winning it the year after he played in the division series either.