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Dickey becomes first knuckleballer to win Cy Young Award

The SportsXchange

R.A. Dickey capped his climb from obscurity to superstardom Wednesday when he won the National League Cy Young Award.

The New York Mets right-hander became the first knuckleball pitcher to capture a Cy Young Award by earning a runaway win in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Dickey received 27 of the 32 first-place votes and 209 points total on the system that included votes for first through fifth place. Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, the 2011 NL Cy Young honoree, came in second place, receiving two first-place votes and 96 points. Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez finished third with 93 points.

"This is an honor to be shared," Dickey told MLB Network, citing Phil Niekro, Tim Wakefield and Charlie Huff among the knuckleball pitchers he has learned from. "It's a great hon-or, and I am not a self-made man by any stretch of the imagination."

Cincinnati Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto and Atlanta Braves right-handed closer Craig Kimbrel came in fourth and fifth, respectively, each getting a first-place vote.

Dickey finished 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA in 34 games (33 starts) this year, the first Mets pitcher to win 20 games in a season since Frank Viola in 1990.

Dickey, 38, began 2012 with a 41-50 career record and a 4.34 ERA. However, the past two years, he began to show that he was mastering command of the knuckleball, posting 2.84 and 3.28 ERAs in those season.

Kershaw went 14-9 with a 2.53 ERA, capturing the league's ERA title for the second consecutive season.

The Mets are attempting to negotiate a multiyear deal with Kershaw this winter after picking up his $5 million contract option for 2013.
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