Players who win baseball’s Rookie of the Year (ROY) award are typically looked upon to eventually have long careers in the major leagues. There have been, however, a few ROYs who have had shortened careers, either because of a drop in performance or injuries.
Two of the most prominent ROYs who had short careers are Mark Fidrych and Joe Charboneau. Fidrych burst on the major league scene in 1976 with the Detroit Tigers, but a torn rotator cuff ended his career. He pitched only 27 games after winning the A.L. ROY award in ’76. Charboneau won the American League ROY in 1980 with Cleveland, but a back injury limited him to only 70 more games after his award-winning career.
Following are the ROY winners who played the fewest number of games after winning their honor (lists are split between everyday players and pitchers).
Non-pitcher ROY, team, ROY year Games after ROY award
Joe Charboneau, Cleveland, 1976 70
Ken Hubbs, Cubs, 1962 154
Sam Jethroe, Bos (N), 1950 301
Pat Listach, Mil (N), 1992 354
Bob Hamelin, KC, 1994 380
Jerome Walton, Cubs, 1989 482
Pitcher ROY, team, ROY year Games after ROY award
Mark Fidrych, Detroit, 1976 27
Butch Metzger, SD, 1976 100
Joe Black, Brooklyn, 1952 116
Herb Score, Cleveland, 1955 117
Harry Byrd, Phil (A), 1952 144
Don Schwall, Boston, 1961 147