Rookie of the Year Award
Note: Rookie of the year links to this page; for the film, click here.
The Rookie of the Year Award, often abbreviated to RoY, is given to the best rookie (first-year player) in a league. The Major League Baseball award is given to the most outstanding rookie both the American League and the National League. Most leagues have an award of this type; a common variant in single division leagues is to have separate awards for position players and pitchers.
The first MLB award was chosen by the Chicago, IL chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America from 1940 to 1946; that award is considered unofficial. In 1947, the chapter invited all members of the BBWAA to vote. Jackie Robinson won the first award.
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.
- Fewer than 130 at bats or
- Fewer than 50 innings pitched
- Fewer than 45 days on the active roster, excluding time on the disabled list, in military service, or time when the rosters are expanded (currently after September 1)
It was not until the late 1950s that who was a rookie was defined and the criteria has changed twice since. During the 1960s, players were not considered rookies if they had more than 75 at bats or 45 innings pitched in previous seasons or were on the active roster at any time from May 15th to September 1st. The current criteria were established in the 1970s.
Two BBWAA members who cover each MLB club vote for their respective league award. No voter may vote for more than three players. The votes and their placement are tallied for each player and a point system is used to determine the award winner. Each first place vote is worth five points, each second place vote is worth three points, and each third place vote is worth one point. The player with the highest point total is the Rookie of the Year.
In recent years, the award has come under fire as it has been given to Japanese players who, while having no major league experience, played for many years in Nippon Professional Baseball. Hideo Nomo, Kazuhiro Sasaki, and Ichiro Suzuki had all played at least five years in Japan before transferring to major league clubs and subsequently won the award. This has caused some writers to refuse to put Japanese players on their ballots and others to call for an age or playing experience restriction (much like the NHL). This was the case again when Jose Abreu, a veteran of Cuban and international baseball, won the award, although the fact that he was a unanimous winner meant that no writer had held his past experience against him.
On the other hand, the first winner of the award (Robinson) had played in the Negro Leagues as did the first five winners of the National League's award: Don Newcombe, Sam Jethroe, Willie Mays, Joe Black and Jim Gilliam.
- BOLD indicates unanimous selection
Chicago BBWAA Award (1940-1946)
|1940||Lou Boudreau||Cleveland Indians (AL)||SS|
|1941||Pete Reiser||Brooklyn Dodgers (NL)||OF|
|1942||Johnny Beazley||St. Louis Cardinals (NL)||P|
|1943||Billy Johnson||New York Yankees (AL)||3B|
|1944||Bill Voiselle||New York Giants (NL)||P|
|1945||Dave Ferriss||Boston Red Sox (AL)||P|
|1946||Eddie Waitkus||Chicago Cubs (NL)||1B|
Single Award (1947-1948)
|Jackie Robinson||Brooklyn Dodgers (NL)||1B|
|Alvin Dark||Boston Braves (NL)||SS|
League Awards (1949-present)
- Donald Honig: American League Rookies of the Year, Bantam Books, New York, NY, 1989. ISBN 0553280236
- Donald Honig: National League Rookies of the Year, Bantam Books, New York, NY, 1989. ISBN 0553279793
- Richard Justice: "Here is the best ROY at each position, all-time", mlb.com, April 3, 2020. 
- Matt Kelly: "All-time Rookie of the Year rankings", mlb.com, November 12, 2018. 
- Will Leitch and Mike Petriello: "Ranking every ROY from 2000s: Who's on top? Each Rookie of the Year from 2000-19, from 1-40", mlb.com, April 23, 2020. 
- Manny Randhawa: "10 ROY winners who didn't turn into superstars: After taking home hardware, these players faded from memory", mlb.com, May 27, 2020.