The 101 previous winners of baseball’s Cy Young Award make for a fascinating pitching tableau. There are starters and relievers. There are masters of the curveball, the sinker, the slider and the splitter. There are fierce intimidators, steroid cheats, convicted felons, a rock star, an underwear model, a rookie and a spitballer.
Now the team picture includes a knuckleballer, R. A. Dickey of the Mets, who won the National League award on Wednesday. Dickey went 20-6 with a 2.73 earned run average, leading the league in innings (2332/3), strikeouts (230), complete games (5) and shutouts (3). The numbers were so convincing that Dickey was the runaway winner, despite a pitch often dismissed as a last-chance trick for has-beens who failed the conventional way.