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Award Tour: Looking at the White Sox Award Drought

All that's missing is Black Jack. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
All that's missing is Black Jack. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The World Series has started. Awards season will soon be upon us. Sure we can expect the White Sox to garner some minor accolades in the forms of a Gold Glove for the incumbent Mark Buehrle and perhaps a long overdue one for Alexei Ramirez, but that's probably all we're going to see. It's fairly safe to say that yet another season has gone by on the south side without a member of the Pale Hose winning one of the big three: MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year. The last time a White Sox to win these awards were Frank Thomas in 1994, Jack McDowell in 1993, and Ozzie Guillen in 1985. That's right, the White Sox have not had a player win Rookie of the Year in my life time. The last time they had a player win either of the other two major awards I was just starting to lose my baby teeth.

This depressing fact made me wonder where our current cold streak stacked up with the other 29 teams in the league. Using B-R, I compiled a list of the last candidate to win each award for their team. A few facts and interesting tidbits before delving into the lists and charts. The MVP award has been around since 1911. The Cy Young began as one award for both leagues in 1956, eventually becoming an award in both in 1967. The Rookie of the Year began in 1947. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the Diamondbacks, Marlins, and Rays have never had a player win MVP. Surprisingly, the Mets and the Nationals (obviously I am including their years as the Expos) are in that same club. The Reds, the Rockies, the Marlins, the Rays, and the Rangers have never earned a Cy Young. And my personal favorite never-had: the Diamondbacks are the only team in Major League Baseball to have never had a Rookie of the Year.


Team Player Year Last Won
Reds Joey Votto 2010
Rangers Josh Hamilton 2010
Twins Joe Mauer 2009
Cardinals Albert Pujols 2009
Red Sox Dustin Pedroia 2008
Yankees Alex Rodriguez 2007
Phillies Jimmy Rollins 2007
Angels Vladimir Guerrero 2004
Giants Barry Bonds 2004
Athletics Miguel Tejada 2002
Mariners Ichiro Suzuki 2001
Braves Chipper Jones 1999
Diamondbacks N/A 1998
Cubs Sammy Sosa 1998
Rays N/A 1998
Rockies Larry Walker 1997
Padres Ken Caminiti 1996
White Sox Frank Thomas 1994
Astros Jeff Bagwell 1994
Marlins N/A 1993
Orioles Cal Ripken Jr. 1992
Pirates Barry Bonds 1992
Brewers Robin Yount 1989
Dodgers Kirk Gibson 1988
Blue Jays George Bell 1987
Tigers Willie Hernandez 1984
Royals George Brett 1980
Nationals N/A 1969
Mets N/A 1962
Indians Al Rosen 1953

Fifteen teams have waited less than us. The Astros' drought is just as long as ours. The average span of years since a team's last claim to the throne? 16.9 years, fitting in quite nicely with our 17 year stretch. Hooray! We're slightly above average! Also, how awesome is it that there is actually a team that has gone longer without winning this award than our very own Winning Ugly has been alive? Very awesome. The answer I was looking for is very awesome. WU, bask in the glow. You've earned it.

Cy Young

Team Player Year Last Won
Mariners Felix Hernandez 2010
Phillies Roy Halladay 2010
Royals Zack Greinke 2009
Giants Tim Lincecum 2009
Indians Cliff Lee 2008
Padres Jake Peavy 2007
Diamondbacks Brandon Webb 2006
Twins Johan Santana 2006
Angels Bartolo Colon 2005
Cardinals Chris Carpenter 2005
Astros Roger Clemens 2004
Dodgers Eric Gagne 2003
Blue Jays Roy Halladay 2003
Athletics Barry Zito 2002
Yankees Roger Clemens 2001
Red Sox Pedro Martinez 2000
Braves Tom Glavine 1998
Rays N/A 1998
Nationals Pedro Martinez 1998
White Sox Jack McDowell 1993
Rockies N/A 1993
Marlins N/A 1993
Cubs Greg Maddux 1992
Pirates Doug Drabek 1990
Mets Dwight Gooden 1985
Tigers Willie Hernandez 1984
Brewers Pete Vukovich 1982
Orioles Steve Stone 1980
Rangers N/A 1960
Reds N/A 1956

19 shorter droughts, 18 other teams winning the award. Ouch. The average drought is a clean and even 15 years, once again putting us above the average in a bad way. And you can probably just move the Tigers to the top of the list next week. If Justin Verlander somehow doesn't win the Cy Young this year, my head will explode.

Rookie of the Year

Team Player Year Last Won
Giants Buster Posey 2010
Rangers Neftali Feliz 2010
Marlins Chris Coghlan 2009
Athletics Andrew Bailey 2009
Cubs Geovany Soto 2008
Rays Evan Longoria 2008
Red Sox Dustin Pedroia 2007
Brewers Ryan Braun 2007
Tigers Justin Verlander 2006
Phillies Ryan Howard 2005
Pirates Jason Bay 2004
Royals Angel Berroa 2003
Rockies Jason Jennings 2002
Blue Jays Eric Hinske 2002
Mariners Ichiro Suzuki 2001
Cardinals Albert Pujols 2001
Braves Rafael Furcal 2000
Reds Scott Williamson 1999
Diamondbacks N/A 1998
Dodgers Todd Hollandsworth 1996
Yankees Derek Jeter 1996
Twins Marty Cordova 1995
Angels Tim Salmon 1993
Astros Jeff Bagwell 1991
Indians Sandy Alomar Jr. 1990
Orioles Gregg Olson 1989
Padres Benito Santiago 1987
White Sox Ozzie Guillen 1985
Mets Dwight Gooden 1984
Nationals Andre Dawson 1977

Well that last one was certainly depressing. Two teams. We are higher up on the list than two freaking teams and their rookies were much better than ours. The average waiting period is 11.9 years. We're over double that. Sigh.

So what does all of this tell us? Honestly, nothing really. Alexei Ramirez finished second to Evan Longoria for RotY in 2008. Esteban Loazia trailed only Roy Halladay in votes for the Cy Young in 2003. Frank Thomas narrowly lost to human science fair project Jason Giambi in 2000. Eventually you have to figure we'll catch a break. I guess we just take pride in Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers til then.