NOVEMBER 11, 1981| LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA • Los Angeles Dodger phenom pitcher Fernando Valenzuela became the first rookie to win the Cy Young award on this date in 1981. The award goes to the best pitcher in either league, as determined by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Valenzuela took Southern California and the entire baseball world by storm that summer of ’81 with his composure (he was just a few days past his 21st birthday), enthusiasm and ability.
He finished the ’81 season 13 – 7, with a 2.48 ERA (earned run average). Valenzuela beat out Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan for the award. Valenzuela played 17 years in the major leagues, winning 173 and losing 153.
“Fairy Tale Ending to Fairy Tale season,” by Mike Littwin, Los Angeles Times, November 12, 1981
1981 Post-season awards