American League Rookies of the Year—1970s
Some players from ‘70s that were voted Rookie of the Year in their respective leagues are long since retired. But you will definitely recognize some of these names of the American League winners from that decade:
1979-John Castino, Minnesota Twins and Alfredo Griffin, Toronto Blue Jays
With six players receiving first-place votes, and with the two winners only receiving seven votes apiece, Minnesota's John Castino and Toronto's Alfredo Griffin shared the AL Rookie of the Year honors in 1979. Castino hit .285 with 5 homers and 52 RBI, while Griffin batted .287 with 2 homers, 31 RBI and 21 stolen bases.
1978-Lou Whitaker, Detroit Tigers
Tigers' second baseman Lou Whitaker was a key part of the 1984 team that won it all, but many folks don't remember that he broke in and won the AL Rookie of the year award in 1978. That season, Whitaker hit .285 with 3 home runs, 58 RBI, 12 doubles, 7 triples and 7 stolen bases.
1977-Eddie Murray, Baltimore Orioles
Eddie Murray was one of the game's all-time great sluggers, and he began his storied career with the Orioles in 1977 by winning the Rookie of the Year Award in the American League. That season, Murray hit .285 with 27 homers, 95 runs batted in, 32 doubles and a .480 slugging percentage. Murray would go on to belt 504 homers over 21 seasons.
1976-Mark Fidrych, Detroit Tigers
Detroit's Mark "The Bird" Fidrych was a quirky pitcher who had a few good years and then was felled by an arm injury, shortening what would have likely become a Hall of Fame career. In 1976, Fidrych won the AL Cy Young Award by going 19-9 with a 2.34 ERA, 24 complete games and four shutouts-all at the age of 21. But Fidrych would play parts of only four more seasons.
1975-Fred Lynn, Boston Red Sox
With 23.5 out of 24 first-place votes (teammate Jim Rice had the other 0.5), Sox outfielder Fred Lynn won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1975, helping lead Boston to the World Series that year. Lynn batted .331 with 21 homers, 105 RBI, 47 doubles, 7 triples, 103 runs scored, a .401 on base average and .566 slugging percentage. Lynn also took home the AL MVP that same year.
1974-Mike Hargrove, Texas Rangers
Most people think of Mike Hargrove as a great baseball manager, but he was really quite a hitter in his playing days. In fact, Hargrove won the AL Rookie of the Year honors in 1974 while with Texas, hitting .323 with 4 homers, 66 runs batted in, 18 doubles, 6 triples and a .424 slugging percentage. Hargrove also took a lot of time at the plate, and was nicknamed the "Human Rain Delay."
1973-Al Bumbry, Baltimore Orioles
In his first full season in the big leagues, Baltimore outfielder Al Bumbry won the AL Rookie of the Year by hitting .337 with 7 homers, 34 RBI, and 120 hits. Bumbry also had career highs in on base average (.398) and slugging percentage (.500).
1972-Carlton Fisk, Boston Red Sox
Boston catcher Carlton Fisk is best remembered for the home run he hit in the 1975 World Series against Cincinnati. But Fisk had a long and productive career for a few different teams, and it began with him winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1972. That season, Fisk won the award unanimously by hitting .293 with 22 home runs, 61 RBI, 28 doubles, an on base average of .370 and slugging percentage of .538.
1971-Chris Chambliss, Cleveland Indians
Chris Chambliss was a big part of the Yankees' teams that won the World Series a couple of times in the late ‘70s, but he began his career with Cleveland in 1971 by winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award. That season, Chambliss hit .275 with 9 homers, 48 RBI, 114 hits, and 20 doubles. He also posted a .992 fielding percentage as a first baseman.
1970-Thurman Munson, New York Yankees
With 23 of 24 first-place votes, Yankees' catcher Thurman Munson won the AL Rookie of the Year honors in 1970. Munson hit .302 with 6 homers, 53 runs batted in, 137 hits, 25 doubles, an on base average of .386 and slugging percentage of .415. Munson also had a .989 fielding percentage with just 8 errors in 125 games.