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Zito Captures Cy Young Award

11/09/2002 10:14 AM

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for immediate release: 9 November, 2002
Former Cape Leaguer Barry Zito Captures AL Cy Young Award

CAPE COD, Mass. – Just four short years ago, left-hander Barry Zito was toiling in the Cape Cod Baseball League. The mop-haired, guitar-strumming, surfing-crazed southpaw led the Wareham Gatemen to the 1998 CCBL playoffs with a 4-2 record and eye-popping 81 strikeouts in 59 innings.  

Former Wareham Gatemen star southpaw Barry Zito of the Oakland A's captured the Cy Young Award last week as the top hurler in the American League.
 Photo courtesy of

     Zito, who posted a 23-5 record, 2.75 ERA and pitched the Oakland A’s to the American League Playoffs, captured the AL Cy Young Award yesterday, besting three-time winner Pedro Martinez of the Boston Red Sox. BoSox teammate Derek Lowe (21-8, 2.58 ERA) finished third.    

     Zito, a 24-year-old hurler from San Diego, CA, received 17 first place votes, nine seconds and two thirds for 114 points from a panel of Baseball Writer’s Association of America. Martinez (20-4, 2.26 ERA) got 11 first place votes for 96 points and Lowe finished with 41 points.    

     Zito pitched the Gatemen to the CCBL Championship in 1997, posting a 3-2 record and a sparkling 2.31 ERA. The following summer, he compiled a 4-2 mark as the Gatemen lost in the Cape League’s playoff series.   

    “Barry Zito combined with Ben Sheets (now with Milwaukee Brewers) to give the Gatmen one of the best one-two pitching combinations in recent Cape League history,” said Wareham president/GM John Wylde. “He enjoyed a solid season leading us to the title in 1997 and was overpowering in ’98. Barry signed with the A’s right after the major league draft and that was important in his developing into a major league pitcher.”   

     Zito led the AL in wins (23), was third in ERA behind Martinez and Lowe and tied the Yankees’ Mike Mussina for third in strieouts with 182 behind Martinez (239) and “Rocket” Roger Clemens (192). His 47-17 career record gives him a .734 winning pct., the best since 1900 among pitchers with 50 or more decisions.      He became the fifth Oakland pitcher to win the Cy Young Award, following Vida Blue (1971), Jim “Catfish” Hunter (1974), Bob Welch (1990) and relief ace Dennis “The Eck” Eckersley (1992). 


John Garner, CCBL Director of Broadcasting