Saturday, November 2, 2013

November 2, 1976: Randy Jones Wins The Cy Young

On November 2, 1976, just two years after posting an N.L. worst 22 losses, San Diego Padres lefty Randy Jones was named the recipient of the National League Cy Young Award. After losing the 22 games in '74 he came back in '75 and posted a 20-12 record with a 2.24 E.R.A. on the way to winning the Comeback Player of the Year Award. Jones finished second in Cy Young voting behind the Mets Tom Seaver in that '75 season. He came back in '76 and went 22-14 with a 2.74 E.R.A. that earned him one of baseball's most prestigious awards. The Cy Young race was a tight one as Jones just beat out the Mets Jerry Koosman and the Dodgers Don Sutton who had posted matching 21-10 records on the season. The road to the Cy Young was far from easy for Jones. The Cy Young campaign was nearly derailed by a car accident in early August that Jones was very lucky to walk away from with minor injures. Despite the fact that he had cuts and bruises on his face and neck following the accident he didn't miss a start which was key in him winning the award. When Jones was named the award winner he said "It's like a boyhood dream come true. When you achieve your boyhood dream, it is an incredible thrill." Unfortunately for Jones he suffered an injury in his last start of the season that required exploratory surgery. Following the surgery he never did regain his Cy Young form, he was still an effective pitcher but could not find the same magic that he had during that '76 season. Jones pitched in San Diego until he was traded to the Mets in the Winter of 1980. He finished his career with a 100-123 record and to date he is the only Cy Young award winner to retire with a losing record. Despite that fact he achieved his dream during that one season in which he was the best pitcher in the National League. 

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