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San Diego Catcher Benito Santiago Is Unanimous Choice as NL Rookie

November 05, 1987|Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Catcher Benito Santiago of the San Diego Padres, who hit safely in 34 straight games to establish a first-season record, was a unanimous selection as the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year in the National League, the Baseball Writers Assn. of America announced Wednesday.

Santiago, who batted .300, hit 18 home runs, drove in 79 runs and stole 21 bases, received 120 points, while runner-up Mike Dunne, a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, had 66 points. Pitcher Joe Magrane of the St. Louis Cardinals was third with 10 points.

Two reporters from each of the league's 12 cities participated in the voting, which was conducted at the end of the regular season. Points were awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.

"I have to feel great because never in my life did I think that something would happen like today and be the Rookie of the Year," Santiago said Wednesday. "I have to say thank you to my team to be together with me and to help me."

Santiago, a native of Puerto Rico, became the fifth NL rookie to be acclaimed unanimously. The others were Frank Robinson, Cincinnati, 1956; Orlando Cepeda, San Francisco, 1958; Willie McCovey, San Francisco, 1959, and Vince Coleman, St. Louis, 1985.

Mark McGwire of the Oakland Athletics was named American League Rookie of the Year Tuesday, also a unanimous selection.

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