Justin Verlander Named AL MVP

For the first time in 25 years, a starting pitcher has been named the American League MVP and his name is no other than Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers.

Verlander received almost half of the 28 first-place votes cast with 13 votes to go along with 280 points, beating the Boston Red Sox’s Jacoby Ellsbury. The 28-year-old right hander is the first starting pitcher to win the AL MVP since Roger Clemens did it in 1986. Verlander, who earlier this month won the AL Cy Young award, said his MVP win was unexpected. “I want to say this is a dream come true. I can’t say that because my dream had already had come true … to win a Cy Young. And the next dream is to win a World Series. This wasn’t even on my radar until the talk started. And then all of a sudden it was a this-could-actually-happen type of thing,” he said.

The MVP win caps an excellent 2011 season for Verlander, who went 24-5 for the Tigers with a 2.40 ERA. The Detroit pitching ace also won the Triple Crown of pitching, among other recognitions.