Boston Red Sox Cy Young Award winners before it existed
By Rick McNair
The 1942 season saw players leaving for war as the MLB ranks started to thin out. For Boston Ted Williams won the Triple Crown and finished second in the MVP ballot – then went into the service for three seasons. The Red Sox finished second that season, but had the best pitcher in the American League – Tex Hughson.
Hughson led the league in wins posting a 22-6 (.786) record while also leading the league in innings pitched (281) and complete games (22). Hughson posted a 2.59 earned run average and had by far the best rWAR in the league – 6.2. An easy pick.
In 1946 Dave Ferriss went 25-6 (.806) for Boston and Hughson checked in with 20 wins as Boston ran away with the pennant, but both Bob Feller and Hal Newhouser had seasons that were superior. Boston pitching would have to wait until 1949.
Mel Parnell and Ellis Kinder led the staff for the second place, Red Sox. Kinder had a great season with a 23-6 record and a league-best six shutouts and 252 innings pitched. The right-hander also added four saves and eventually would become a bullpen specialist. Kinder finished fifth in MVP voting.
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Parnell – a lefty – led the league in wins with a 25-7 record and a league-best rWAR of 7.9. Parnell topped the league with a 2.77 earned run average, 27 complete games and 295.1 innings pitched and finished fourth on the MVP ballot. Kinder was excellent all season and if there was a vote would certainly be second on my ballot. Award to Parnell.