Twins' Cordova given AL rookie award

The Associated Press

NEW YORK Marty Cordova, the Minnesota Twins outfielder who had 24 homers and 84 RBI, was voted AL Rookie of the Year on Wednesday, edging California's Garret Anderson in the closest race in 16 years.

Cordova and Anderson each received 13 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Cordova had 13 seconds and one third for 105 points, while Anderson had 10 seconds and four thirds for 99 points.

Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees and Troy Percival of the Angels each received one first-place vote.

It was the closest race in the AL since 1979, when Twins third baseman John Castino and Toronto shortstop Alfredo Griffin tied with seven votes each. The following year, the BBWAA switched to the system where each writer makes three picks, with 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 for a second and 1 for a third.

The last rookie race decided by such a narrow margin was the NL award in 1982, when Steve Sax of Los Angeles edged Pittsburgh's Johnny Ray by six points.

Cordova, 26, finished the season hitting .277. He made his major league debut on April 26 and started in a 2-for-16 slump, but rebounded to hit .301 in May with eight homers and 21 RBI. He hit .304 from Sept. 1 to the end of the season and had four homers and 23 RBI.

He homered in five consecutive games from May 16 to 20, tying the major league rookie record set by Rudy York in 1937 and matched by George Alusik in '62 and Ron Kittle in '83. It also matched the Twins record accomplished twice by Harmon Killebrew in '70.

Anderson hit .324 with 16 homers and 69 RBI. He started the season with the Angels and was just 0-for-8 when he was sent back to the minors on May 15. He returned to the Angels on June 7 and in July was picked as the AL player of the month after hitting .410 with seven homers in 25 games.

Anderson would have received a $10,000 bonus if he had won the award.

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