Photo Credit: Plaquelady - eBay

By Zane Miller

11. John Castino (1979)

Castino was named co-Rookie of the Year (along with Alfredo Griffin) in 1979 as a member of the Minnesota Twins, hitting five home runs, 52 RBIs and 112 hits in 148 games played during his rookie season. However, he would only play in four more full-time seasons before suffering a career-ending back injury early on in the 1984 campaign, with his final numbers showing 41 home runs, 249 RBIs and 646 hits in 666 total games played.

10. Mark Fidrych (1976)

Fidrych burst onto the scene with the Detroit Tigers in 1976, not only winning Rookie of the Year but also finishing runner-up in the AL Cy Young Award race with 19 wins, 97 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.34 in just over 250 innings pitched. Similar to Castino, however, Fidrych’s career would be cut short due to injury, as he played his final MLB game in 1980 after pitching only 27 more games following his rookie season, getting a total of 29 wins, 170 strikeouts and a 3.10 ERA in 412 innings pitched.

9. Mike Hargrove (1974)

Hargrove captured the RotY trophy in 1974 with the Texas Rangers, as he added four home runs, 66 RBIs and 134 hits in 131 games played. Hargrove went on to have a lengthy playing career largely split between the Rangers and Cleveland Indians (now Cleveland Guardians), contributing 80 home runs, 686 RBIs and 1,614 hits in 1,666 games before retiring in 1985. Not only that, Hargrove would also 16 more seasons in the MLB as a manager, notably guiding the Indians to World Series appearances in 1995 and 1997 while also leading the team to the postseason in five straight years. This, along with his playing career, led to Hargrove being inducted into the Cleveland Guardians Hall of Fame in 2008.

8. Chris Chambliss (1971)

Chambliss earned the RotY award in 1971 with the Indians, getting nine home runs, 48 RBIs and 114 hits in 111 games played. He would go on to play mainly with the Indians and New York Yankees, notably finishing inside the top-five in AL MVP voting in 1976 with 17 home runs, 96 RBIs and 188 hits in 156 games played, also winning the World Series with the Yankees in both 1977 and 1978. Chambliss claimed a total of 185 home runs, 972 RBIs and 2,109 hits in 2,175 games played prior to his retirement after in 1988. Later during the same season, he became a hitting coach with the Yankees, eventually winning four more World Series rings during the team’s dynasty during the late 1990s.

7. Fred Lynn (1975)

Lynn grabbed the RotY title in 1975 with the Boston Red Sox, capturing an impressive 21 home runs, 105 RBIs and 175 hits in 145 games to not only win Rookie of the Year, but claim the AL MVP award in the process. Lynn played the majority of his career with the Red Sox, including a top-five finish in the MVP race in 1979, before announcing his retirement following the 1990 season. Lynn was also inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2002.

6. Al Bumbry (1973)

Bumbry picked up RotY honors in 1973 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, hitting seven home runs, 34 RBIs and 120 hits in 110 games played. Bumbry went on to play nearly his entire career with the Orioles, finishing with 54 home runs, 402 RBIs and 1,422 hits in 1,496 games played, along with winning the 1983 World Series with Baltimore before his in 1985. Not long after in 1987, Bumbry entered the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame.

5. Alfredo Griffin (1979)

Photo Credit: SB Nation

Griffin nabbed co-Rookie of the Year honors (shared with John Castino) in 1979 with the Toronto Blue Jays, as he had two home runs, 31 RBIs and 179 hits in 153 games played. Afterward, Griffin spent the majority of his career with the Blue Jays, taking 24 home runs, 527 RBIs and 1,688 hits in 1,962 games played. Most notably, Griffin won the World Series three times, doing so with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988 before rejoining the Blue Jays for their championship runs in 1992 and 1993. Griffin would go out on top, as he retired after the 1993 season.

4. Thurman Munson (1970)

Photo Credit: SABR

Munson easily scored the 1970 RotY award, contributing six home runs, 53 RBIs and 137 hits in 132 games played with the Yankees. Munson spent the entirety of his career with the Yankees, with his best season coming in 1976 as he won the AL MVP thanks to 17 home runs, 105 RBIs and 186 hits in 152 games. Along with Chambliss, Munson would also win back-to-back World Series with the team in 1977 and 1978. Tragically, on August 2nd, 1979, Munson was killed in a private plane crash near Akron-Canton Airport in Green, Ohio. His #15 jersey number was officially retired by the Yankees the next day, as he would also be added into the team’s Monument Park in 1980.

3. Lou Whitaker (1978)

Photo Credit: SB Nation

Whitaker earned the 1978 RotY award with the Tigers, thanks to three home runs, 58 RBIs and 138 hits in 139 games played. Whitaker played his entire career in Detroit, with his best season coming in 1983 as he added 12 home runs, 72 RBIs and 206 hits in 161 games played. Whitaker also earned a World Series ring with the team in 1984, before announcing his retirement following the 1995 season with a career total of 244 home runs, 1,084 RBIs and 2,369 hits in 2,390 games played. In 2022, Whitaker’s #1 jersey was officially retired by the Tigers organization.

2. Carlton Fisk (1972)

Photo Credit: Mike Lewis - Wikipedia

Fisk scored the RotY title in 1972 while on the Red Sox, as he claimed 22 home runs, 61 RBIs and 134 hits in 131 games to also finish fourth in that year’s AL MVP vote. While Fisk played over 1,000 games for the Red Sox, he would play in even more games for the Chicago White Sox, where he became an AL MVP finalist in 1983 with 26 home runs, 86 RBIs and 141 hits in 138 games played. Between the two teams, he amassed 376 home runs, 1,330 RBIs and 2,356 hits in 2,499 total games before retiring in 1993. In 1997, Fisk’s #72 jersey was officially retired by the White Sox, while he was also inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame the same year. In 2000, Fisk entered the National Baseball Hall of Fame, with his #27 jersey also being retired by the Red Sox during the same season.

1. Eddie Murray (1977)

Public domain photo

Murray captured the RotY crown in 1977 with the Orioles, smacking 27 home runs, 88 RBIs and 173 hits in 160 games played. Playing the vast majority of his career in Baltimore, Steady Eddie picked up a career total of 504 home runs, 1,917 RBIs and 3,255 hits in 3,026 games played, including back-to-back runner-up finishes in the AL MVP race in 1982 and 1983, with the latter season likely being the best of his career with 33 home runs, 111 RBIs and 178 hits in 156 games. After retiring in 1997, Murray’s #33 jersey was officially retired by the Orioles the next season. In 2003, Murray would be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, to go along with his induction into the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame in 1999.