FAYETTEVILLE – Former Arkansas Razorback baseball player Cliff Lee was a near unanimous choice for Major League baseball’s American League Cy-Young Award on Thursday.
Lee, the American League’s starting pitcher in the All-Star Game in July, capped off a fantastic season with the Cleveland Indians with the highest honor awarded to a pitcher by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Lee went 22-3 this season with a 2.54 ERA for the Indians. His .880 winning percentage is the third highest in Major League Baseball history according to MLB.com and the lefty became Cleveland’s first 20-game winner since Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry in 1974.
Lee earned 132 points in the Cy Young voting, 52 more than any other player. He garnered 24 of the 28 available first-place votes and four second-place nods. Toronto’s Roy Halladay finished second in the voting with 71 points and Angel’s closer Francisco (K-Rod) Rodriguez, who set a baseball record with 62 saves on the year, rounded out the top three with 32 votes.
Along with his Cy Young Award, Lee has also been decorated with the American League’s Comeback Player of the Year by MLB.com, The Sporting News and the MLB Players’ Association. He has also been named the top pitcher in the American League by the MLBPA, The Sporting News and the Internet Baseball Awards.
Lee’s alma-mater begins its 2009 season on Feb. 20, when Arkansas hosts Washington State at Baum Stadium. For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.