R.A. Dickey wins 2012 NL Cy Young Award

R.A. Dickey won the 2012 National League Cy Young Award, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced tonight.

To see video of Dickey talking to SNY after the announcement, during which he says he’d like to spend the rest of his career with the Mets, watch this clip:

Dickey joins Tom Seaver (1969, 1973, 1975) and Dwight Gooden (1985) among Mets who have now won the award.

“I want to thank the BBWAA for this prestigious award,” Dickey said in a statement. “I owe so much to my teammates for their support during the year, especially Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas, who did such a great job behind the plate all season. I’d like to thank the fans. They stood behind me every time I took the mound. I wouldn’t have won this award without them. To have my name linked to Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden is quite humbling.”

This season, Dickey became the first Mets pitcher with 20 wins in a season since 1990 (when Frank Viola went 20-12). Dickey joined Tom Seaver (1969, 1971, 1972, 1975), Jerry Koosman (1976), Dwight Gooden (1985), David Cone (1988) and Viola as the only Mets to win at least 20 games in a season.

“All of us here at the Mets congratulate R.A. on winning the Cy Young Award,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said. “R.A.’s tremendous accomplishments this season were a thrill for everyone in the organization and our fans. This recognition is a tribute to his hard work and determination.”

Dickey led the National League in strikeouts with 230 strikeouts, 233.2 innings pitched, five complete games and three shutouts. He was second in the National League with 20 wins and a 2.73 ERA, while leading the major leagues with 27 quality starts.

“It was an honor to work with R.A. throughout the year and have a front-row seat to his historic season,” Terry Collins said.  “R.A. is a great teammate, fierce competitor and even a better human being.  No one deserves this award more than him.”

Dickey is the first knuckleballer in baseball history to win a Cy Young Award.

“This is fitting recognition for a remarkable season,” said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson.  “We are very proud of R.A. and what he achieved in 2012.”

Dickey received 27 of 32 first place votes.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Congratulations to R.A.! He put together a storybook season and some epic performances, and this is a well deserved achievement.

His Cinderella story is one of the best in baseball. It’s remarkable what he’s been able to accomplish at this stage in his career, considering the amount of variables that must play into his favor in order to be consistently successful with the knuckleball. And, consider the ride he’s been on: His contract offer was rescinded in 1996 when Rangers doctors discovered he was missing a ligament in his elbow; so, he had to fight his way through the minors… he’d get promoted and demoted leading to uncertainty year after year. He nearly signed a deal to pitch in Japan, but chose to sign with the Mets, who later cut him in camp. However, a few weeks later, they promoted him after a dominating start in Triple-A Buffalo, and he has not looked back ever since. He has developed into one of the most inspiring stars in the game. He has battled all odds, all doubts, and every last chance and reached the summit of the pitching world. He is a role model for everyone who thinks they have no chance at attaining their goals.

In terms of his performance this season, I’ve said it over and over again, Dickey was the best pitcher in baseball this year. Period. The statistics back it up. He led the league in strikeouts, innings pitched, WHIP, complete games, shutouts, was second in ERA and wins – though he accounted for 27 percent of his team’s wins – he also had an incredible 4.25:1 strikeouts-to-walk ratio… and the list goes on. By the way, he pitched with a torn abdominal muscle all year long, which is truly remarkable. He was absolutely dominant at times for the Mets, and when the entire package is put together, there is nobody more deserving of the honor this season than Dickey.

Congratulations once again to R.A. Dickey for this tremendous accomplishment.