Cy Young Award

Commissioner Ford Frick pushed the idea of an MVP-type award for pitchers, and the BBWAA approved the idea in 1956. The Cy Young Memorial Award commemorated the career of baseball’s all-time career victory leader, who had died the previous year. Part of Frick’s rationale was that pitchers rarely won the MVP award, but in the award’s inaugural season, Brooklyn’s Don Newcombe won both. The NL and AL shared the award at first (also at Frick’s insistence) rather than having separate winners in each league, but this was changed in 1967, two seasons after Frick’s retirement. Sandy Koufax had won the award in three of the previous four seasons. The voting system originally had each writer voting for just one pitcher, but after Denny McLain and Mike Cuellar tied for the award in 1969, the rules were changed to allow each writer to cast weighted votes for first, second, and third.