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Glavine Wins NL Cy Young Award

Tom Glavine edged reliever Trevor Hoffman to win his second NL Cy Young Award Tuesday, the sixth time in eight years an Atlanta Braves pitcher has earned the honor.

In the closest balloting for the award in 11 years, Hoffman received the most first-place votes but fell 11 points short of Glavine, who appeared on three more ballots.

The 32-year-old left-hander became the first Cy Young winner not to receive the most first-place votes.

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  • "It just goes to show that a lot of guys had great years and deserved consideration," Glavine said. "I'm not concerned with how many votes I got or first-place votes I didn't get. I had enough to get the award."

    Glavine, who also won the award in 1991, led the league with 20 victories and was tied for third with a 2.47 ERA. Hoffman had perhaps the most dominating season ever out of the bullpen, saving 53 games in 54 chances.

    Glavine received 11 first-place votes, 13 seconds, five thirds and was left off three ballots for 99 points. Hoffman got 13 firsts, five seconds and eight thirds. The San Diego pitcher was left off six ballots for 88 points.

    The 32 voters from the Baseball Writers' Association of America list the top three pitchers on their ballots.

    The last time the NL Cy Young vote was this close was 1987, when Steve Bedrosian beat Rick Sutcliffe by two votes and Rick Reuschel by three.

    The last time any BBWAA award winner failed to receive the most first-place votes was in 1995, when Seattle's Lou Piniella beat Boston's Kevin Kennedy for AL Manager of the Year. It happened three times in MVP voting.

    Another Padres pitcher, Kevin Brown, was third with eight firsts, eight seconds and 12 thirds for 76 points. Glavine's teammates, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux, tied for fourth with 10 points each.

    For much of the season Glavine wasn't even the best pitcher on his staff.

    Maddux appeared to have wrapped up the award at the All-Star break with a 12-2 record and 1.54 ERA. But he struggled down the stretch, going 6-7 with an un-Maddux-like 3.18 ERA. He finished 18-9 with a league-leading 2.22 ERA but couldn't join Roger Clemens as the only five-time Cy Young winners. Clemens won his fifth AL award Monday.

    "Realistically, I thought Greg was the clear-cut winner into August," Glavine said. "Barring something crazy, I didn't think I could catch him. I got on a roll and took advantage of the fact that Greg was not Greg in most people's eyes."

    Glavine's victory returns the award to Atlanta. Montreal's Pedro Martinez won last year and Maddux won in 1992 for the Cubs, the year before he signed with the Braves.

    Voting breakdown
    Player Team 1
    1. Tom Glavine Atlanta 11
    2. Trevor Hoffman San Diego 13
    3. Kevin Brown San Diego 8
    4. John Smoltz Atlanta
    5. Greg Maddux Atlanta
    6. Al Leiter New York
    7. Randy Johnson Houston
    (Voting done on a 5-3-1 basis)

    "It's a good feeling to be part of a pitching staff that has won as many awards as we have," Glavine said. "It's great to get it back in the organization after Pedrwon it last year."

    Smoltz, the 1996 winner, finished 17-3 with a 2.90 ERA in a season in which he was twice on the disabled list with an inflamed elbow.

    Hoffman allowed less than a baserunner per inning and struck out more than one batter per inning. He went 4-2 with a 1.48 ERA. Only four NL relievers have won the award, none since Mark Davis with San Diego in 1989.

    Hoffman received a $50,000 bonus for placing second.

    Brown, who helped knock Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz out of the playoffs, finished 18-7 with a 2.38 ERA. He received a $10,000 bonus for his finish.

    New York's Al Leiter went 17-6 with a 2.47 ERA and received three votes. Houston's Randy Johnson pitched only two months in the NL, but his 10-1 record and 1.28 ERA earned him two votes.

    © 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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