Tuesday, November 09, 1999
Reds' Williamson voted top rookie
BY CHRIS HAFT
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Scott Williamson's storybook season for the Reds reached its pinnacle Monday when he was named the National League's Rookie of the Year.
The right-handed reliever was the only candidate to be named on all 32 ballots cast by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Two writers from each NL city vote.
It represented the latest in a series of milestones for Williamson, 23.
He wasn't on the roster in spring training, yet made the club. He was a starting pitcher all through the minors, but was converted to a reliever and did so well, he assumed the role of closer, entrusted with protecting ninth-inning leads. He did that so well that he made the NL's All-Star team.
It was really a shock. It's unbelievable, Williamson said by telephone from his Houston-area home.
Williamson became only the seventh Red to win the award, joining franchise immortals such as Frank Robinson (1956), Pete Rose (1963) and Johnny Bench (1968). Third baseman Chris Sabo (1988) was the last Cincinnati player to earn the distinction, while right-hander Pat Zachry (1976) was the only other Reds pitcher to receive the honor. The other outstanding Reds rookie was Tommy Helms (1966).
Williamson led all NL rookie pitchers in victories, saves, relief earned-run average, relief strikeouts and winning percent age. He finished 12-7 with a 2.41 ERA, 19 saves and 107 strikeouts in 93ô innings.
Williamson received 17 first-place votes, nine second-place votes and six third-place votes for 118 points (points were alloted on a 5-3-1 basis).
Florida outfielder Preston Wilson was second with 88 points and nine first-place votes, while Pittsburgh second baseman Warren Morris finished third with 69 points and six first-place votes.
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