Frank Viola, the Minnesota Twins left-hander who led the major leagues in victories with a 24-7 record, was named winner of the 1988 American League Cy Young Award Wednesday.
Viola received 27 of a possible 28 first-place votes and 138 of a possible 140 points from the Baseball Writers Assn. of America. Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics, given the other first-place vote, was second with 52 points.
Mark Gubicza of the Kansas City Royals was third with 26 points, followed by Dave Stewart of the A’s with 16, Bruce Hurst of the Boston Red Sox with 12 and teammate Roger Clemens with 8.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Viola said from his Orlando, Fla., home. “I didn’t want to worry about it. You don’t want to get your hopes too high so that they get shot down.”
Viola, the first Twin to win the award since Jim Perry in 1970, earned a $100,000 bonus for winning the Cy Young, giving him $1.6 million this year.
He had a 2.64 earned-run average and 193 strikeouts this season, ranking him third in the league in each department. The winning pitcher for the American League in the All-Star game, Viola gained his 20th win Aug. 30, against Texas. It was his 100th career victory.
“It took me 5-plus years to find this kind of consistency,” said Viola, the 1987 World Series’ most valuable player. “This year is just a carryover from last year.”