Justin Verlander joined some impressive company on Wednesday. Not only did he become one of just 11 pitchers in MLB history to win three Cy Young awards, but he also became one of the oldest hurlers to win the award.
Verlander, 39, became the fourth-oldest pitcher to win the award behind three all-time legends.
Justin Verlander Cy Young
The only pitchers older than Verlander to take home a Cy Young trophy were Early Wynn (39), Gaylord Perry (40) and Roger Clemens (42). Wynn and Perry are both in the Hall of Fame, while Clemens would be too were it not for his connection to steroids.
Verlander's success at such an advanced age is even more impressive considering that 2022 was his first season back from Tommy John surgery. Many pitchers at his age would have likely retired rather than go through the lengthy rehab process to come back, but Verlander knew he still had something left and could come back strong despite making just one start in 2020 and 2021 combined.
Sure enough, Verlander turned in one of the best seasons of his career, going 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP over 175 innings before helping the Houston Astros win the World Series. With the best ERA, WHIP and winning percentage in the American League, Verlander was a unanimous selection for the 2022 AL Cy Young Award.
Most athletes have long since retired by the time they get to their late 30s. Not so for Verlander, who once again proved why he's one of the greatest pitchers in MLB history.