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L.A. Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw named Warren Spahn Award winner

BY RYAN ABER, Staff Writer, raber@opubco.com Modified: October 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm •  Published: October 20, 2011
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There wasn't much doubt who the Warren Spahn Award winner was this season.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw led all left-handers in wins, strikeouts and ERA, the three categories used to determine the award winner.

Thursday, organizers made it official, naming Kershaw the 13th winner of the award which honors the best left-handed pitcher each season.

Kershaw was 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA, striking out 248. His ERA was the best in baseball for any pitcher and his wins and strikeout totals led the National League.

“It is a genuine honor to have my name mentioned alongside one of the greatest lefties in the history of the game,” Kershaw said in a release. “Mr. Spahn accomplished so much both in baseball and in his life off the field. I am truly humbled by this award.”

Kershaw will be presented with the award at the Warren Spahn Award Gala in January at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum.

Kershaw is the first winner to lead in all categories since Randy Johnson in 1999, according to the release, and was the first Dodgers pitcher to win 20 games since Ramon Hernandez accomplished the feat in 1990.

The Dallas native made his debut as a 20-year-old in 2008 and over the last three seasons has started at least 30 games while posting an ERA under 3.00.

The award is named after Spahn, who moved to Hartshorne after his retirement and died in Broken Arrow in 2003. Spahn won 363 games in his 21-year career, best among left-handers.

Past winners of the award include David Price (2010), CC Sabathia (2007-09), Johan Santana (2004, 2006), Dontrelle Willis (2005), Andy Pettitte (2003) and Johnson (1999-2002).