The Major League Baseball (MLB) Rookie of the Year Award, or Jackie Robinson Award as it became known in 1987, is given to the individual player from each League who has the best rookie season; pitching, hitting or fielding, that is during his first year of eligibility.
MLB Rookie of the Year Award History
In Major League Baseball, the Rookie of the Year Award is annually given to one player from each league as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).
The Rookie of the Year Award was established in 1940 by the Chicago chapter of the BBWAA, which selected an annual winner from 1940 through 1946. Winners of the originally established award appear at the bottom of the page in the Fast Facts.
The Rookie of the Year Award became a national honor in 1947; Jackie Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodgers' second baseman, won the inaugural award. One award was presented for both leagues in 1947 and 1948; since 1949, the honor has been given to one player each in the National and American League.
Originally, the award was officially known as the J. Louis Comiskey Memorial Award, named after the Chicago White Sox owner of the 1930s, though it was commonly referred to as the Rookie of the Year Award in the media. The award was officially renamed the Jackie Robinson Award in July 1987, forty-years after Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color line.
MLB Rookie of the Year Award Trivia
Of the one-hundred twenty-eight players named Rookie of the Year, sixteen have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame — five American League players and eleven from the National League. Next to each of their names on the chart below you'll find (HOF) to easily illustrate who they were.
The Rookie of the Year Award has been shared twice: once by Butch Metzger and Pat Zachry of the National League in 1976; and once by John Castino and Alfredo Griffin of the American League in 1979.
Members of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers have won the most awards of any franchise (with eighteen), twice the total of the New York Yankees (nine), who have produced the most in the American League.
Fred Lynn and Ichiro Suzuki are the only two players who have been named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same year, and Fernando Valenzuela is the only player to have won Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young Award in the same year.
Sam Jethroe is the oldest player to have won the award, at age 32, 33 days older than 2000 winner Kazuhiro Sasaki (who was also 32).
MLB Rookie of the Year Award Qualifications
From 1947 through 1956, each BBWAA voter used discretion as to who qualified as a rookie. In 1957, the term was first defined as someone with fewer than 75 at bats or 45 innings pitched in any previous Major League season. This guideline was later amended to 90 at bats, 45 innings pitched, or 45 days on a Major League roster before September 1 of the previous year.
The current standard of 130 at bats, 50 innings pitched or 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club (excluding time in military service or on the disabled list) before September 1, was adopted in 1971.
Since 1980, each voter names three rookies: a first-place choice is given five points, a second-place choice three points, and a third-place choice one point. The award goes to the player who receives the most overall points.
"Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he's losing; nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead." - 1947 Rookie of the Year / Hall of Fame First Baseman Jackie Robinson in Book of African-American Quotations (Joslyn Pine, Dover Publications, 01/14/2011, Page 157)
In Chronological Order
In Chronological Order
During the 1964 season, Tony Oliva of the Minnesota Twins won a batting title making him the first Rookie of the Year with a batting title a feat not duplicated until 2001 when Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners led the American League with a .350 batting average.
Did you know that Mark McGwire was the first Rookie of the Year Award winner who also led the league in home runs? Too easy? Did you know that from 1940 through 1946 the Chicago chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) selected a Rookie of the Year Award recipient? When they invited all thirty-nine baseball writers to vote in 1947 the official Rookie of the Year Award was born or the J. Louis Comiskey Memorial Award as it was called at the time.
|Chicago BBWAA Rookie of the Year|
|1942||Johnny Beazley||St. Louis||NL||P|
|1943||Billy Johnson||New York||AL||3B|
|1944||Bill Voiselle||New York||NL||P|
The following players were all unanimous selections and appear in chronological order: Frank Robinson , Orlando Cepeda , Willie McCovey , Carlton Fisk , Vince Coleman , Benito Santiago , Mark McGwire , Sandy Alomar Jr. , Mike Piazza , Tim Salmon , Raul Mondesi , Derek Jeter , Scott Rolen , Nomar Garciaparra , Albert Pujols , Craig Kimbrel , Mike Trout , Jose Abreu , Corey Seager , Aaron Judge , Cody Bellinger , Yordan Alvarez , and Kyle Lewis .