A’s closer Huston Street wins Rookie of the Year

Huston Street, who emerged as the closing reliever for the Oakland Athletics in the second month of the 2005 season, was named the American League winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Street, 22, was listed first on 15 of 28 ballots submitted by two writers from each league city, along with six votes for second and four for third to total 97 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. The righthander replaced injured Octavio Dotel as Oakland’s closer in May and went on to a 5-1 record with 23 saves in 27 opportunities, a 1.72 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 78 1/3 innings. Opponents batted .194 against Street, whose ERA was second only to the New York Yankees’ Mariano Rivera (1.38) among AL closers.

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (.297, 34 2B, 14 HR, 62 RBI) finished second in the voting with 57 points, including four first-place votes. Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes (.282, 21 HR, 54 RBI) was third with 39 points, including two first-place votes. Chicago White Sox second baseman Tadahito Iguchi (.278, 15 HR, 71 RBI, 15 SB) received five first-place votes but was named on only three other ballots and ranked fourth. The other two first-place votes went to Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Gustavo Chacin (13-9, 3.72 ERA), who finished fifth overall.

Street is the seventh Athletics player honored, and the second consecutively, following Bobby Crosby. Other A’s winners were Philadelphia’s Harry Byrd and Oakland’s Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Walt Weiss and Ben Grieve. Street is the third closer to win the award, joining Kazu Sasaki of the Seattle Mariners in 2000 and Gregg Olson of the Baltimore Orioles in 1989. The Yankees’ Dave Righetti was a starter when he won the award in 1981.

The vote:

2005 AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year

Huston StreetOakland Athletics156497
Robinson CanoNew York Yankees410757
Jonny GomesTampa Bay Devil Rays28539
Tadahito IguchiChicago White Sox51230
Gustavo ChacinToronto Blue Jays2414
Nick SwisherOakland Athletics26
Joe BlantonOakland Athletics136
Jesse CrainMinnesota Twins22
Scott KazmirTampa Bay Devil Rays11