NEW YORK, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Detroit's Justin Verlander became the first pitcher in 19 years to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award, it was announced Monday.
Verlander, a right-hander, was 24-5 with a 2.40 earned run average. The 24 wins led the major leagues and the ERA figure was tied for third best but was best in the American League.
He also led the AL with 250 strikeouts. Verlander was the first Detroit pitcher to lead the league in those three categories since Hal Newhouser in 1945. Newhouser was AL MVP in 1944 and 1945.
Last week, Verlander was named the unanimous choice for the AL Cy Young Award.
He is the first pitcher since Oakland's Dennis Eckersley in 1992 to win the MVP Award and first starting pitcher since Boston's Roger Clemens won in 1986.
Verlander was listed first on 13 of the 26 ballots and totaled 280 points. Boston outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury was second with 242 points, including four first-place mentions. Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista finished third in the voting with five first-place votes and 231 points.
The award is determined by a vote of the Baseball Writers Association of America, with two writers from each American League city and national writers eligible. Ballots include spots for 10 players. Points are awarded on a scale that begins with 14 points for a first-place mention, nine for a second, eight for third and down to one point for a 10th-place mention.