But only one time has an alumnus from D3 won the most coveted award for pitchers, the Cy Young. Back in the Fall of 1976, Randy Jones – a former standout for Chapman University – took the crown for best pitcher in the National League while with the San Diego Padres.
Take a look at some of the significant marks from that wonderful season of '76, and take a look even further down below for bonus content to see who has come the closest to being the second D3 winner over the last 10 seasons.
Randy Jones — Chapman
Jones was on the tail end of a two-year stretch where he was arguably the best pitcher in the National League, finishing with a league-leading mark for wins, games started, ERA, and innings pitched either in 1975 or 1976. In both years, the former fifth rounder from the 1972 Draft finished in the top two of Cy Young voting.
One standout stat from the 1976 season that brought Jones his trophy are the low amount of strikeouts, also leading to giving up the most hits in the league that year (274).
But the wins are seemingly what mattered most, and his 2.74 ERA was also best for sixth in the NL.
The '76 season would also mark the last winning season for the former Chapman standout, giving way to six-straight losing campaigns.
But for arguably two years and definitely in the Summer of 1976, there was no better pitcher in the National League than Randy Jones.
D3 Alum To Finish in Top-10 Voting Since 2008
Since 2008, there has been just two players that were former D3 stars to finish in the top ten of voting for the Cy Young, with all instances occurring in the last five years. Take a look at the years for these top finishes below from former UW-Stevens Point pitcher Jordan Zimmermann – currently with the Detroit Tigers – and Collin McHugh from Berry, now pitching with the Astros.
Jordan Zimmermann — UW-Stevens Point
|2013 (7th, NL)||19-9||3.25||213.1||161||3.36|
|2014 (5th, NL)||14-5||2.66||199.2||182||2.68|
Collin McHugh — Berry
|2015 (8th, AL)||19-7||3.89||203.2||171||3.58|