New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey, 38, has won the National League Cy Young Award, given to the top pitcher in each league. Dickey beat out Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals, who finished second and third, respectively.

Dickey finished 2012 with a 20-6 win-loss record and an earned run average of 2.73, leading the National League in strikeouts with 230. In a career that dates back to 2001 when he was with the Texas Rangers, Dickey had never won more than 11 games in a season and only once finished with an E.R.A. under 3.00.

Dickey became the first Met to win 20 games in a season since Frank Viola in 1990, and the first Met to win the Cy Young Award since Dwight Gooden in 1985. He is also the first knuckleball pitcher to ever win the award, an impressive feat considering the long and successful careers of such knuckleballers as Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, Charlie Hough and Tim Wakefield.

Dickey has shown great humility and appreciation for his fans. “It’s not always easy being a loyal supporter when a team is going through a rough stretch, but to all of you Met fans, to be a recipient of your support and passion has been one of the greatest thrills of my baseball life,” he told the New York Daily News.

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