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From 1940-46, the Chicago chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) selected a rookie of the year. In 1947, they invited all members of the BBWAA to vote. Coincidentally, 1947 was the year in which Jackie Robinson became the first African American player in modern major league history and he won the first one. Originally the award was known as the J. Louis Comiskey Memorial Award, after the Chicago White Sox owner of the 1930s. In 1987, in honor of the 40th year since Jackie Robinson broke the color line, it became known as the Jackie Robinson Award.
Only two players, both in the American League, have been named Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same year, Fred Lynn in 1975 and Ichiro Suzuki in 2001. The only Rookie of the Year to win the Cy Young Award in the same year was Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.
What qualifies as a rookie?Edit
In order to qualify for the award a player must have accumulated less than both of the following, prior to the season under consideration:
- 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched in the major leagues
- 45 days on the active rosters of major league clubs (excluding time on the disabled list or any time after rosters are expanded on September 1)
The award has come under scrutiny in recent years, as several Japanese players (namely Hideo Nomo in 1995, Kazuhiro Sasaki in 2000, and Ichiro Suzuki in 2001) with prior experience in Japan have won the award during their first year playing in the United States. While rookies to Major League Baseball, these players were already tested professionals before coming to the United States, leading some baseball writers to question whether they should be considered true rookies. However, the policy remains in place that experience outside the U.S. major leagues does not affect one's status as a rookie. The issue was raised again in 2003, as Hideki Matsui narrowly lost the balloting to Angel Berroa. It should be noted, however, that the first award winner and whom the award is named after is Jackie Robinson who was 27 years old at the time and had spent several years playing in the Negro Leagues.
List of Rookie of the Year winnersEdit
Major Leagues combined (1947-48) Edit
|Year||Player, Team, Position|
|1947||Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers, 2B|
|1948||Alvin Dark, Boston Braves, SS|