Tom Glavine, who won 20 games and helped the Braves reach the first World Series in Atlanta’s history, won the National League’s Cy Young Award on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old left-hander became the youngest pitcher to win the award since Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets did it at age 20 in 1985.
“I’m excited,” Glavine said during a news conference at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. “In a couple of weeks it will probably hit me as to what happened.
“I think I put up some pretty good numbers. I’m just happy some other people recognized it. The only thing that could have made this year any better than this would have been winning the World Series.”
Glavine, the NL’s starter in the All-Star game, was 20-11 with a 2.55 earned-run average.
Glavine got 19 of 24 first-place votes and five second-place votes for 110 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers Assn. of America. St. Louis Cardinals’ relief pitcher Lee Smith, who led the major leagues with 47 saves, was second. Smith got four first-place votes, 12 seconds and four third-place votes for 60 points.
John Smiley of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the only other 20-game winner in the NL, finished third with four second-place votes and 14 thirds for 26 points.
Glavine, the only pitcher named on all 24 ballots, became only the second Brave pitcher to win the award. The other was Warren Spahn, who did it in 1957 when the Braves were in Milwaukee.
“It means an awful lot to be the first Atlanta Brave to get it,” Glavine said.
Glavine said he called his parents first after learning he won the award.
“They’ve been sweating this out more than me,” he said.
Glavine became the Braves’ first 20-game winner since Phil Niekro won 21 in 1979 and the Braves’ winningest left-hander since Spahn won 23 in 1963.