American League Cy Young Winners By Year—1980s
Guys named Saberhagen and Clemens won the AL Cy Young Award more than once in the 1980s, but there were a few others in that decade you may or may not recognize. Here is a complete list of American League Cy Young winners from the 1980s:
1989-Bret Saberhagen, Kansas City Royals
The Royals' Bret Saberhagen won the AL Cy Young in 1989, his second overall, by going 23-6 with a 2.16 ERA and 193 strikeouts to just 43 walks in 262 innings pitched. Saberhagen also had 12 complete games and four shutouts.
1988-Frank Viola, Minnesota Twins
Lefty Frank Viola only won 20 games once while he was a member of the Twins, and it was in 1988 when he won the AL Cy Young by going 24-7. Viola had a 2.64 ERA with 193 strikeouts to just 54 walks in 255 innings of work. Viola also had seven complete games and two shutouts.
1987-Roger Clemens, Boston Red Sox
In 1987, hard throwing right-hander Roger Clemens won the second of his seven career Cy Young Awards, taking home the AL honors. Clemens went 20-9 with a 2.97 earned run average, and 256 strikeouts to 83 walks in 283 innings pitched. He also had a career high of 18 complete games with 8 shutouts.
1986-Roger Clemens, Boston Red Sox
In helping the Red Sox reach the World Series in 1986, Roger Clemens also won his first AL Cy Young Award. He went 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA and 238 strikeouts to just 67 walks in 254 innings of work. Clemens also had 10 complete games.
1985-Bret Saberhagen, Kansas City Royals
With 23 first place votes, Kansas City's Bret Saberhagen took home the first of his two AL Cy Young Awards in 1985, and in so doing helped the Royals win a World Series. That season, Saberhagen went 20-6 with a 2.87 ERA and 158 strikeouts to just 38 walks in 235 innings pitched.
1984-Willie Hernandez, Detroit Tigers
In a fairly close vote over the Royals' Dan Quisenberry, Tigers' closer Willie Hernandez took home the AL Cy Young in 1984 (as well as the AL MVP) by notching 32 saves and helping lead the Tigers to a World Series title. Hernandez went 9-3 with a 1.92 ERA and 112 strikeouts to 32 walks in 140 innings of work.
1983-LaMarr Hoyt, Chicago White Sox
LaMarr Hoyt came out of nowhere in 1982, then helped the White Sox win their division in 1983 by going 24-10 with a 3.66 ERA and 148 strikeouts to 31 walks in 260 innings pitched. Hoyt also had 11 complete games.
1982-Pete Vuckovich, Milwaukee Brewers
With 14 first-place votes, Brewers' pitcher Pete Vuckovich won the AL Cy Young Award in 1982 and helped his team reach the World Series. Vuckovich went 18-6 with a 3.34 ERA and 105 strikeouts. He had nine complete games and a shutout as well.
1981-Rollie Fingers, Milwaukee Brewers
Reliever Rollie Fingers won both the AL MVP and Cy Young Awards in 1981. That season, he had 28 saves in a strike-shortened season, going 6-3 with 61 strikeouts in 78 innings of work.
1980-Steve Stone, Baltimore Orioles
Steve Stone never won more than 20 games until 1980 with the Baltimore Orioles, when he went 25-7 with a 3.23 ERA en route to winning the AL Cy Young Award in a fairly close vote over Oakland's Mike Norris. Stone had 149 strikeouts and nine complete games with one shutout.