THIS YEAR'S BBWAA awards built up to a coronation. Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu were Rookies of the Year; the Nationals' Matt Williams and the Orioles' Buck Showalter were Managers of the Year; and Corey Kluber (page 54) surprised many by edging Felix Hernandez for the AL Cy Young. There was no suspense about the NL Cy Young, though: It went to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who was so dominant—21--3 with a 1.77 ERA and 239 strikeouts in 198 1/3 innings—that the next day he took home the NL MVP too. Meanwhile, the Angels' Mike Trout had the worst of his three full major league seasons, and he still won the AL MVP unanimously, after hitting .287/.377/.561 with 36 homers and 111 RBIs.
LED THE LEAGUE IN RUNS IN EACH OF HIS FIRST THREE SEASONS
First player in history to accomplish that
NINTH AL PLAYER TO BE NAMED ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AND MVP
LED THE LEAGUE IN WAR FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR
The first unanimous MVP winner since Ken Griffey Jr., in 1997, and the 10th ever in the AL
At 23, the fifth-youngest MVP in history and the youngest since Cal Ripken Jr. in 1983. (Vide Blue, Johnny Bench and Stan Musial are the others.)
HAD THE LOWEST ERA IN BASEBALL FOR THE FOURTH STRAIGHT SEASON
No other pitcher has ever managed that
YOUNGEST THREE-TIME CY YOUNG WINNER
THE FIRST NL PITCHER TO WIN MVP SINCE BOB GIBSON IN '68
Had a higher on-base percentage as a batter (.235) than opposing hitters had against him (.231)
The only other pitchers who've won three or more Cy Youngs: Sandy Koufax, Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Jim Palmer, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez.
THEY SAID IT
"That'll probably be my last one after I got groped up."
Saints tight end, on why he'll no longer jump into the Superdome stands to celebrate a TD after a fan got too friendly when he scored against the Niners on Nov. 9.
On Nov. 11 the International Ski Federation banned Vanessa-Mae, the famous English violinist of Thai descent, for allegedly qualifying for Sochi by competing in a fixed race. She's not the first Olympian who was out of her depth. A brief history, ranked by how far behind the winner each finished.
Hamadou (the Otter) Issaka
2012 • Learned to row three months before the Games.
BEHIND GOLD: 128%
Vanessa-(the Violinist) Mae
2014 • Allegedly faked race results to qualify for the giant slalom.
BEHIND GOLD: 132%
Philip (Cool Runnings) Boit
1998 • Nike project to build an African cross-country skier.
BEHIND GOLD: 173%
Eric (Eel) Moussambani
Equatorial Guinea, Sydney
2000 • Trained for only eight months before the games—in a hotel pool.
BEHIND GOLD: 233%
Eddie (the Eagle) Edwards
Great Britain, Calgary
1988 • Qualified because he was the only jumper from GB.
BEHIND GOLD: 390%
Gary (the Banker) di Silvestri and Angelica (the Banker's wife) di Silvestri
2014 • Rumored to have bought citizenship to get into cross-country event.
BEHIND GOLD: DNF AND DNS
ROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (TROUT)
ROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (KERSHAW)
CLIVE ROSE/GETTY IMAGES (VANESSA-MAE)
CHRIS KEANE FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (GRAHAM)