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Rookie Power

Suzuki, Pujols Honored

November 13, 2001|Associated Press

NEW YORK — Ichiro Suzuki, the 28-year-old Seattle outfielder, won the American League Rookie of the Year award and wasn't surprised by Monday's vote.

"I was a little embarrassed to be called a rookie here in the United States," he said through a translator. "I was so relieved today when I heard this announcement I won the Rookie of the Year award because I felt this was an award I should have won without any doubt."

Suzuki, who came to the major leagues after nine seasons in the Japanese Pacific League, received 27 of 28 first-place votes from a panel of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Albert Pujols of St. Louis was a unanimous choice for the National League rookie award.

"It's a pretty good honor," Pujols said. "You only get it one year, and so I'm happy I got it."

Suzuki was the first rookie to win a batting title since Tony Oliva in 1964. Suzuki batted .350 with 56 stolen bases, becoming the first player to lead the majors in both since Jackie Robinson in 1949.

Suzuki had 138 points, easily beating Cleveland pitcher C.C. Sabathia, who had 75 points after going 17-5 with a 4.39 ERA. Sabathia got one first-place vote.

Yankee second baseman Alfonso Soriano was third with 35 points, and Angel shortstop David Eckstein was fourth with six.

Pujols got all 32 first-place votes in the NL, becoming the ninth unanimous rookie pick in the NL.

Pujols, 21, set an NL rookie record with 130 RBIs, and led the Cardinals with a .329 average, 37 homers and 112 runs.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

ROOKIE POWER / HOME RUNS

49: Mark McGwire, Oakland 1987

38: Wally Berger, Boston (NL)1930

Frank Robinson, Cincinnati 1956

37: Al Rosen, Cleveland 1950

Albert Pujols, St. Louis 2001

35: Hal Trosky, Cleveland 1937

Rudy York, Detroit 1983

Ron Kittle, Chicago (AL)1934

34: Walt Dropo, Boston1950

*

AL, NL Rookie of the Year voting D9

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

ROOKIE POWER / THE OLDEST

Ichiro Suzuki, right, is the sixth-oldest player to win a rookie of the year award. The oldest winners, with age at time of award:

32 years, 10 months

Sam Jethroe

Boston Braves 1950

*

32 years, 8 months

Kazuhiro Sasaki

Seattle Mariners 2000

*

28 years, 9 months

Jackie Robinson

Brooklyn Dodgers 1947

*

28 years, 9 months

Joe Black

Brooklyn Dodgers 1952

*

28 years, 5 months

Jack Sanford

Philadelphia Phillies 1957

*

28 years, 0 months

Ichiro Suzuki

Seattle Mariners 2001

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