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12/21/11 12:01 AM EST

Greinke humbled by Cy, team honors

KC ace has eye on even bigger year next season

KANSAS CITY -- The biggest surprise of Zack Greinke's victory in the American League Cy Young Award sweepstakes was the wide margin of his victory.

Greinke scooped up 25 of the 28 first-place votes to easily outdistance runner-up Felix Hernandez of the Mariners, 134 votes to 80. Hernandez got two first-place votes and third-place Justin Verlander of the Tigers got the other No. 1 vote.

Even Greinke thought his 16-8 record might be overshadowed by Hernandez's 19-5 mark.

"I thought it might," Greinke admitted. "I thought that could push him over the top because his win-loss record was way better than mine."

But the voters obviously looked at many other factors, starting with Greinke's 2.16 ERA, best in the Majors.

At the same time of the Cy Young announcement, the Royals completed the formality of naming Greinke their Pitcher of the Year for 2009. He also won the team honor in 2004 when he had an 8-11 record with a 3.97 ERA as a rookie.

Greinke became the third pitcher in Royals history to win the Cy Young trophy -- joining Bret Saberhagen in 1985 and again in 1989 and David Cone in 1994.

Although Greinke is the type of guy who doesn't relish a lot of extra attention, he's willing to put up with some of that in exchange for the honor.

"I'm still real happy to get it because you kind of work your whole life to do something and get acknowledged for it," Greinke said. "Even going into this year, I'll work as hard as I can to try to do it again."

The Royals' only Most Valuable Player, by the way, was George Brett in his magical season of 1980.

This year, first baseman Billy Butler became the youngest player to win the Royals Player of the Year Award since Brett in 1976. Both were winners at age 23.

AL Cy Young Award Voting
Player 1st 2nd 3rd Pts
Zack Greinke, KC 25 3 134
Felix Hernandez, SEA 2 23 1 80
Justin Verlander, DET 1 9 14
CC Sabathia, NYY 2 7 13
Roy Halladay, TOR 11 11

Butler banged out a .301 average, 21 homers and had 93 RBIs for the Royals this season.

Butler's award-winning year also included 51 doubles, just three shy of Hal McRae's club record set in 1977. In four different games, he had three doubles -- the first hitter since 1900 to do that in the same season.

The Kansas City BBWAA also voted the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award to second baseman Alberto Callaspo, who batted .300 and had 60 extra-base hits.

The Royals campaigned for AL Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for Greinke and left fielder David DeJesus, but they were not selected.

Even more than another Cy Young Award, what Greinke wants for 2010 is for the Royals to leap ahead in the AL Central standings.

"I have faith in all our players, we just need to step it up a little more," he said. "And it can't just be one guy stepping up, a bunch of our players have to make the move. Everyone is capable of it, but it has to get done, or we won't have a good year next year, either."

National Awards
MVP Cy Young Rookie of the Year
George Brett 1980 Bret Saberhagen 1985 Lou Piniella 1969
Bret Saberhagen 1989 Bob Hamelin 1994
David Cone 1994 Carlos Beltran 1999
Angel Berroa 2003
Manager of the Year Rawlings Gold Glove Silver Slugger
Tony Pena 2003 Amos Otis, OF 1971 Willie Wilson, OF 1980
Amos Otis, OF 1973 George Brett, 3B 1980
Amos Otis, OF 1974 Hal McRae, DH 1982
Frank White, 2B 1977 Willie Wilson, OF 1982
Al Cowens, OF 1977 George Brett, 3B 1985
Frank White, 2B 1978 Frank White 1986
Frank White, 2B 1979 George Brett, 1B 1988
Frank White, 2B 1980 Gary Gaetti, 3B 1995
Willie Wilson, OF 1980 Dean Palmer, 3B 1998
This Year in Baseball Frank White, 2B 1981
Zack Greinke (Starting Pitcher) 2009 Frank White, 2B 1982
George Brett, 3B 1985
Frank White, 2B 1986
Frank White, 2B 1987
Bret Saberhagen, P 1989
Bob Boone, C 1989
Jermaine Dye, OF 2000
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B 2006
Alex Gordon, OF 2011
Local Awards
Player of the Year Pitcher of the Year
Amos Otis, Fred Patek 1971 Dick Drago 1971
John Mayberry 1972 Roger Nelson 1972
Amos Otis 1973 Paul Splittorff 1973
Hal McRae 1974 Steve Busby 1974
George Brett 1975 Dennis Leonard 1975
George Brett 1976 Mark Littell 1976
Al Cowens 1977 Dennis Leonard 1977
Amos Otis 1978 Larry Gura 1978
George Brett 1979 Dennis Leonard 1979
George Brett 1980 Dan Quisenberry 1980
Willie Wilson 1981 Larry Gura 1981
Hal McRae 1982 Dan Quisenberry 1982
Frank White 1983 Dan Quisenberry 1983
Willie Wilson 1984 Dan Quisenberry 1984
George Brett 1985 Bret Saberhagen 1985
Frank White 1986 Mark Gubicza 1986
Danny Tartabull 1987 Bret Saberhagen 1987
George Brett 1988 Mark Gubicza 1988
Jim Eisenreich 1989 Bret Saberhagen 1989
George Brett 1990 Steve Farr 1990
Danny Tartabull 1991 Bret Saberhagen 1991
George Brett 1992 Kevin Appier 1992
Greg Gagne 1993 Kevin Appier 1993
Bob Hamelin 1994 David Cone 1994
Gary Gaetti 1995 Kevin Appier 1995
Tom Goodwin 1996 Tim Belcher 1996
Jay Bell 1997 Tim Belcher 1997
Dean Palmer 1998 Jeff Montgomery 1998
Jermaine Dye 1999 Jose Rosado 1999
Mike Sweeney 2000 Jeff Suppan 2000
Carlos Beltran 2001 Jeff Suppan 2001
Mike Sweeney 2002 Paul Byrd 2002
Carlos Beltran 2003 Darrell May 2003
David DeJesus 2004 Zack Greinke 2004
Mike Sweeney 2005 Mike MacDougal 2005
Mark Teahen 2006 Mark Redman 2006
Mark Grudzielanek 2007 Gil Meche 2007
Mike Aviles 2008 Joakim Soria 2008
Billy Butler 2009 Zack Greinke 2009
Billy Butler 2010 Joakim Soria 2010
Alex Gordon 2011 Bruce Chen 2011

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.