Felix Hernandez has made history.
The Mariners ace won the American League Cy Young Award on Thursday, becoming the first starting pitcher ever to capture the honor with fewer than 14 wins.
Hernandez received 21 of 28 first-place votes, beating out Tampa Bay's David Price and CC Sabathia of the Yankees, who finished second and third, respectively. Price received four first-place votes while Sabathia, who led the AL with 21 wins, received the other three.
"When they called me, I asked three times, 'Are you for real that I won the Cy Young? He said 'Yes.' For real, I won the Cy Young? And he said 'Yes.' And I started crying and my wife was hugging me," Hernandez said on the Brock and Salk show from his home in Venezuela. "My whole family was crying too."
In a statement, Hernandez added: "It is a very emotional day for me. I'm very proud that I was able to accomplish this not only for myself, but for my family, my country and my team. I don't have the words to describe the way I feel."
Hernandez was just 13-12 for the Mariners, but led the league in ERA (2.47), innings pitched (249 2/3) and quality starts (30). He was second in the league with 232 strikeouts, a career-high.
"We are all proud of Felix for achieving this tremendous honor," general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement. "He is the ultimate competitor and a great teammate, I know I speak for our entire organization, our fans and the entire Northwest when I say that this is honor that is well deserved."
The 24-year-old Hernandez is just the 11th pitcher under 25 to win the award.
He joins Randy Johnson as the only Mariners pitcher to win the award. Johnson's Cy Young season came in 1995 when he posted an 18-2 record and a 2.48 ERA.
The writing may have been on the wall for Hernandez. Last month he won the Sporting News' AL Pitcher of the Year Award, which is often an accurate forecast of that year's Cy Young winner. Hernandez is the 16th consecutive AL pitcher to win both awards in the same season.
Philadelphia's Roy Halladay won the NL Cy Young Award on Tuesday.
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