New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey capped off his improbable season on Wednesday when he was named winner of the National League’s 2012 Cy Young Award.
Dickey, 38, got 27 of 32 possible first place votes, easily outdistancing runner-up Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Dickey, who joined the Mets three years ago as a castoff journeyman, went 20-5 and was a National League All-Star.
He led the league with 230 strikeouts, 233.2 innings pitched, three shutouts, wes second in the league with a 2.73 earned run average and tied for second most victories in the majors.
In June he became the first pitcher since 1944 to throw consecutive one-hitters.
“I owe so much to my teammates for their support during the year,” Dickey said in a statement released by the Mets, singling out his catchers, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas.
“I’d like to thank the fans,” Dickey said. “They stood by me every time I took the mound. I wouldn’t have won this award without them.”
Dickey joins Tom Seaver in 1969, 1973 and 1975, and Dwight Gooden in 1985 as the only pitchers to earn the Cy Young award as New York Mets.
“R.A. is a great teammate, a fierce competitor and even a better human being,” said manager Terry Collins in the club’s statement. “No one deserves this award more than him.”
Dickey was a No. 1 pick of the Texas Rangers in 1996. He bounced around minor league stops between hitches with the Rangers, Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners.
When he joined the Mets prior to the 2010 season he had a record of 22-28, and had never won more than nine games in a season.
Last off season he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for charity. He also became a best-selling author, writhing a biography in which he detailed being a victim of sexual abuse as a child. He has a deal to write three children’s books.