DETROIT -- Detroit Tigers righthanded pitcher Justin Verlander has won the 2009 King Tiger Award, given each year by the Mayo Smith Society.
Verlander posted a 19-9 record and 3.45 ERA (240.0IP/92ER) during the 2009 season. He led the American League with 35 games started, 240.0 innings pitched, 269 strikeouts and 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings. Additionally, he tied for the league lead with 19 wins, finished third with 4.27 strikeouts per walk, fifth with 10.80 baserunners per nine innings, tied for fifth with three complete games, sixth with a 3.45 ERA and 8.21 hits per nine innings, tied for sixth with a .243 batting average against and eighth with a .679 winning percentage.
Verlander became the first Tigers pitcher to lead the American League in strikeouts since Jack Morris did so in 1983 with 232 strikeouts. His 269 strikeouts stand as the fifth-most in franchise history and mark the most by an American League pitcher since Boston’s Pedro Martinez fanned 284 batters during the 2000 season. His 240.0 innings pitched marked the most by a Tigers pitcher since Morris worked 249.2 innings for the Tigers in 1990.
Verlander was also named to the American League all-star team for the second time, and finished third in American League Cy Young Award voting. He earlier won the Tiger of the Year award from the Detroit chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Also getting King Tiger votes from Mayo Smith Society members were first baseman Miguel Cabrera, third baseman Brandon Inge, righthanded starting pitcher Rick Porcello, outfielder Ryan Raburn and second baseman Placido Polanco.
The Mayo Smith Society, founded in 1983 and named for the manager of the Tigers’ 1968 World Series championship club, is a nationwide organization of Tigers fans. Since 2004, it has voted on King Tiger winners based on players’ on- the-field and off-the-field endeavors; from 1964 to 1980, the presidents of individual Tigers’ fan clubs had voted for their own King Tiger awardees. Mayo Smith Society representatives plan to make the King Tiger presentation to Verlander during the organization’s annual trip to Lakeland, Florida, for Spring Training.
Past King Tiger winners as voted on by the Mayo Smith Society:
2008: Miguel Cabrera
2007: Magglio Ordonez
2006: Kenny Rogers
2005: Placido Polanco
2004: Carlos Guillen, Ivan Rodriguez (tie)
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