As we near the end of the award presentations for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, the award for the top pitcher in each league is awarded today.
The Walter Johnson Award honors the pitcher in each league that excelled far beyond anyone else. This year’s vote was not unanimous like last season’s, but it was a decision that many of the group could still agree on.
Earlier this year, Craig Kimbrel became the first person to repeat in an award category for the BBA and he was closely followed by this year’s American League Walter Johnson Award winner. Justin Verlander grabbed his second consecutive nod as the top hurler in the American League. Verlander led his league in numerous categories including complete games (6), innings pitched (238.1), strikeouts (239), and ERA+ (160). He continues to be the premier hurler in the American League and the bloggers acknowledged this with 67% of this year’s vote.
The bloggers recognized Mets’ knuckleballer RA Dickey’s 2012 season by awarding him the Walter Johnson Award in the National League. After compiling 20 wins and leading the league in strikeouts (230), innings pitched (233.2), games started (33), complete games (5) and shutouts (3). Dickey’s career revitalization in 2012 has led him to the apex of the league.
Previous Walter Johnson Award Winners
2011: Justin Verlander, Detroit; Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
2010: Felix Hernadez, Seattle; Roy Halladay, Philadelphia
2009: Zack Greinke, Kansas City; Tim Lincecum, San Francisco
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 232 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.
The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.