Monday, November 15, 2010

Rookie of the Year Synergy Happens Once Every 3 Decades

Neftali Feliz and Buster Posey won the Rookie of the Year for 2010 and frankly the picks are spot on.

They both had great years, both look like future stars and both sparked their teams to the post season.

Voters made their selection before the post season began, so they had no idea that Feliz’s Rangers and Posey’s Giants were going to meet in the World Series. It was a nice coincidence. And it got me thinking… how often has the Rookie of the Year been awarded to players who faced off against each other in the World Series?

And we here at Sully Baseball can’t just have an idle thought like that.

The Rookie of the Year was first awarded in 1947. Jackie Robinson won it for the NL Champion Dodgers. Alvin Dark won it in 1948 for the NL Champion Braves.

Starting in 1949, both the American League and National League were naming their Rookie of the Year.

And since then, both rookies have faced off three times in the World Series.


Gil McDougald of the Yankees played against Willie Mays of the New York Giants. McDougald homered and helped the Yankees win. Mays struggled to a .182 average and no extra base hits.


Dodger ace Fernando Valenzuela took his mania to the World Series against Dave Righetti and the Yankees. The two squared off in Game 3. Ron Cey hit a three run homer off of Righetti who only lasted 2 innings and got a no decision. Bob Watson and Rick Cerone homered off of Valenzuela but he settled down and went all 9 innings for the Series turning win.


Feliz shut down San Francisco in Game 3, giving the Rangers their first World Series victory. But Posey and the Giants had the last laugh. He hit a home run in Game 4 to put the score out of reach and went 2-4 in the Game 5 clincher.

Don’t feel badly for Rookie of the Year, World Series runners up Dave Righetti and Willie Mays. They both had good Octobers this year.

He finally got a World Series ring as a coach for the Giants this year.
And Willie?

Well he got to be part of the World Series celebration.

Stay tuned to see if the 2040 American League and National League Rookies of the Year match up.

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