Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fun Rookie of the Year Facts (Through 2008)

Have you ever wondered which franchise has produced the most Rookies of the Year? How about which non-U.S. country has produced the most Rookies of the Year? What about the most commonly-worn uniform number or which team had the most winners play for it? If you're that curious, you've come to the right place! Here you'll find out everything you ever wanted to know (and probably several things you didn't) about the winners of the famous first-year player award.

ROY Winners By Franchise

The Dodgers and their tradition of homegrown players have produced twice as many as any other team with 16, and the Yankees lead all American League teams with 8. 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 (16)

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)

Yankees (8)

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

Athletics (7)

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

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)

Braves (6)

Alvin Dark (1948)
Sam Jethroe (1950)
Earl Williams (1971)
Bob Horner (1978)
David Justice (1990)
Rafael Furcal (2000)

Cardinals (6)

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

Red Sox (6)

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

Cubs (5)

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

Giants (5)

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

White Sox (5)

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

Indians (4)

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

Mets (4)

Tom Seaver (1967)
Jon Matlack (1972)
Darryl Strawberry (1983)
Dwight Gooden (1984)

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)

Tigers (4)

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

Mariners (3)

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

Blue Jays (2)

Alfredo Griffin (1979)
Eric Hinske (2002)

Brewers (2)

Pat Listach (1992)
Ryan Braun (2007)

Marlins (2)

Dontrelle Willis (2003)
Hanley Ramirez (2006)

Expos/Nationals (2)

Carl Morton (1970)
Andre Dawson (1977)

Padres (2)

Butch Metzger (1976)
Benito Santiago (1987)

Angels (1)

Tim Salmon (1993)

Astros (1)

Jeff Bagwell (1991)

Pirates (1)

Jason Bay (2004)

Rangers (1)

Mike Hargrove (1974)

Rays (1)

Evan Longoria (2008)

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

Dominican Republic (6)

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

Puerto Rico (5)

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

Japan (3)

Hideo Nomo (1995)
Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000)
Ichiro Suzuki (2001)

Cuba (2)

Tony Oliva (1964)
Jose Canseco (1986)

Venezuela (2)

Luis Aparicio (1956)
Ozzie Guillen (1985)

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.

What about the American-born players? Among U.S. States, California leads the way with 20 ROYs born there.

20 winners


Eight winners


Seven winners

New Jersey

Six winners


Five winners

New York

Four winners


Three winners


Two winners


One winner

North Carolina
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

13 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, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr.

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

ROY Winners and the World Series

21 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 and Evan Longoria.

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.

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

Managerial ROY Winners

Eleven 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 and Ozzie Guillen.

Five of those eleven 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 ROY Winners:

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

Six ROY Winners:

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

Five ROY 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)

Four ROY 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)

ROYS by Position

In compiling the positions, 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 labeled his position "unclear". Nine players (Sievers, McDougald, Kubek, Blefary, E. Williams, Charboneau, Ripken, Justice and Pujols) fall into this category.

Not surprisingly, the most common position among winners is pitcher. No fewer than 31 hurlers have won the award, good for 25% of all winners. After that, shortstops lead the way with 15 winners.

Pitcher (31)
Shortstop (15)
Center Field (12)
First Base (11)
Left Field (11)
Second Base (10)
Third base (9)
Catcher (7)
Right Field (7)
Designated Hitter (2)

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

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

Interestingly, half the center fielders to win the award did so in the 1950's. Since then, we've seen a 22-year stretch where only three center fielders won it (1977-1999, Dawson, Walton, Beltran). No center fielder has won it since then.

ROY Uniform Numbers

Every number from 1 to 45 has been worn by a player the year he won the ROY. 48, 49, 51, 55 and 57 have all made appearances too. The most commonly-worn numbers for a ROY are 5 and 15, with seven each.

Seven wearers

5: Jethroe, Lefebvre, Bench, Horner, Bagwell, Garciaparra, Pujols
15: Sievers, Tresh, Allen, Munson, Alomar, Salmon, Pedroia

Six wearers

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

Five wearers

20: Moon, F. Robinson, Fidrych, Walton, Street

Four wearers

1: Agee, Bumbry, Whitaker, Furcal
2: Dark, Castino, Jeter, Ramirez
16: Hubbs, Gooden, Listach, Nomo
19: Gilliam, Helms, Lynn, Righetti
26: Kuenn, Allison, B. Williams, Montefusco
34: Kubek, Charboneau, Valenzuela, Wood
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.

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

So...anything else you want to know?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Welcome to Baseball Junk Drawer!

I created this site as a place to share my interesting (though often useless) discoveries about baseball with the world. If you love trivia and baseball history, you've come to the right place!