Philadelphia Inquirer - November 5, 1980

Carlton wins Cy Young for 3d time

 

By the Associated Press

 

NEW YORK – Steve Carlton, the lefthander who led the Phillies to baseball's world championship this year, was named winner of the National League Cy Young award yesterday for a record-tying third time.

 

Carlton was voted the honor by a Baseball Writers Association of America panel and joined Tom Seaver and Sandy Koufax as the only three-time winners of the coveted award, which goes to the league's best pitcher.

 

The American League winner is to be announced next Wednesday.

 

Carlton polled 118 points, with 23 of 24 first-place votes and one second-place vote. Jerry Reuss of the Los Angeles Dodgers got the other first-place vote and wound up second with 55 points.

 

Jim Bibby of the Pittsburgh Pirates was third with 28, followed by Joe Niekro of the Houston Astros with 11 and Tug McGraw of the Phillies, Steve Rogers of the Montreal Expos, Joe Sambito of Houston and Mario Soto of the Cincinnati Reds with one point apiece.

 

Carlton posted a record of 24-9 with a 2.34 earned-run average during the regular season, leading the majors with 286 strikeouts. He was the winning pitcher in the opening game of the National League Championship Series against Houston and also won the second and sixth games of the World Series against Kansas City.

 

Carlton, who previously won the award in 1972 and 1977, was the Phillies' stopper, a man manager Dallas Green always could depend on for a solid performance when his team needed it most.

 

"Basically, there wasn't anybody but Lefty who could have won this award in 1980 in the National League," Green said of Carlton, 35. "I can't say enough about what Carlton did. His dedication and hard work enabled him to maintain his quality of pitching, especially at his age."

 

Green said that with the exception of one game early in the season, one that Carlton lost, 6-1, to Montreal, the Phillies had a chance to win every other game he pitched.

 

"It (the Cy Young Award) was a very clear-cut choice," said Bob Boone, his catcher. "He was just outstanding, especially considering the number of innings he worked and his strikeout total. His slider is an awesome pitch with great control.

 

"His first, last and middle name was consistency," Green said. "Consider that he won 15 or 16 times after we had lost a game. There is no stopper better than that. We never had to suffer through a losing streak. That's a most valuable pitcher. There is no question about that."

 

As Kansas City's Clint Hurdle remarked during the World Series, "When you call a pitcher 'Lefty' and everybody in both leagues knows who you mean, he must be pretty good."

 

Carlton, a fiercely private person, has refused to talk to the press for the last several seasons. In the madness of the Phillies' victorious dressing room after the clinching victory in the World Series, he held his own solitary celebration in the trainer's room.

 

Carlton was not even available to be notified that he had won the award.

 

 

He had been expected to go to Japan this week to conduct some baseball clinics with teammates Mike Schmidt and Pete Rose, but the trip was canceled and the pitcher went hunting instead.