American League Cy Young Winners By Year—1970s
Orioles' ace Jim Palmer won three Cy Young Awards in the ‘70s, but other than that it was a mixed bag during the "Me Decade" for American League pitchers. Here is a complete run down of the AL Cy Young winners during that decade:
1979-Mike Flanagan, Baltimore Orioles
With 26 out of 28 first-place votes, Orioles' pitcher Mike Flanagan won the AL Cy Young in 1979, helping his team reach the World Series. In his only 20-win season, Flanagan went 23-9 with a 3.08 ERA and 190 strikeouts. He also had 16 complete games with 5 shutouts.
1978-Ron Guidry, New York Yankees
Yankees' lefty Ron Guidry, nicknamed "Louisiana Lightning," helped his team to another World Series championship in 1978, and had an incredible season that culminated with the AL Cy Young Award. Guidry went 25-3 with a 1.74 earned run average. He struck out 248 batters with just 72 walks in 273 innings of work, and had 16 complete games with 9 shutouts.
1977-Sparky Lyle, New York Yankees
Yankees' closer Sparky Lyle won the AL Cy Young in 1977, in what was a close race between he, Baltimore's Jim Palmer, California's Nolan Ryan and Kansas City's Dennis Leonard. Lyle went 13-5 out of the bullpen, notching 26 saves, and had 68 strikeouts. He appeared in 72 games.
1976-Jim Palmer, Baltimore Orioles
Orioles' ace right-hander Jim Palmer won his second consecutive AL Cy Young, and the third of his three in all, in 1976. Palmer went 22-13 with a 2.51 ERA and 159 strikeouts, and had 23 complete games with six shutouts.
1975-Jim Palmer, Baltimore Orioles
Jim Palmer won the first of his two straight AL Cy Youngs in 1975, and the second of his three in the decade. Palmer went 23-11 with a 2.09 ERA and 193 strikeouts, adding 25 complete games with a career high 10 shutouts. In all, Palmer won 20 or more games an astonishing eight times during his career.
1974-Catfish Hunter, Oakland Athletics
In a fairly close vote over Texas' Fergie Jenkins, Oakland pitcher Jim "Catfish" Hunter won the American League Cy Young in 1974. That season, Hunter went 25-12 (same record as Jenkins) with a 2.49 ERA and 143 strikeouts. He helped the A's reach the World Series for the third straight season, and had 23 complete games with six shutouts. Hunter had five straight seasons with 21 or more wins, and finished in the top four in Cy Young voting four years in a row.
1973-Jim Palmer, Baltimore Orioles
With California's Nolan Ryan close on his tail, Baltimore's Jim Palmer won the first of his three AL Cy Young Awards in 1973. Palmer went 22-9 with a 2.40 ERA, 158 strikeouts, 19 complete games and 6 shutouts.
1972-Gaylord Perry, Cleveland Indians
In a very close vote over Chicago's Wilbur Wood, Indians' pitcher Gaylord Perry won the AL Cy Young in 1972. Perry went 24-16, which was amazing considering the team only won 72 games that season. He had a 1.92 earned run average, with 234 strikeouts to just 82 walks in 342 innings of work. Perry also had 29 complete games and five shutouts.
1971-Vida Blue, Oakland Athletics
1971 was a magical year for A's pitcher Vida Blue, who won both the AL Cy Young and MVP Awards. In his first full season, Blue went 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA and 301 strikeouts to just 88 walks in 312 innings pitched. He also had career highs in complete games (24) and shutouts (8).
1970-Jim Perry, Minnesota Twins
It was a close vote for the AL Cy Young Award in 1970, between Twins' pitcher Jim Perry (older brother of Gaylord Perry), who won it; Baltimore's Dave McNally and Mike Cuellar; and Cleveland's Sam McDowell. Perry won it by going 24-12 with a 3.04 ERA and 168 strikeouts. He also had 13 complete games with 8 shutouts.