Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander was named the American League Most Valuable Player, a rare feat for a pitcher.
The hard-throwing right-hander posted a 24-5 record with 2.40 earned run average, leading his team to the playoffs. Verlander, who won the Cy Young Award, given annually to each league's best pitcher, two weeks ago, received 13 of 28 first-place votes for MVP. Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury finished second in the balloting and Toronto third baseman and outfielder Jose Bautista finished third.
It is rare for a pitcher to claim the award honoring the league's top player. Oakland closer Dennis Eckersley won it in 1992, but the last time a starting pitcher claimed the honor was when Roger Clemens accomplished the feat in 1986.