Every Cardinals' Cy Young Award winner in franchise history

The Cy Young Award is the highest honor a pitcher can receive. Today we'll discuss which Cardinal greats have captured the coveted award, and which have fallen just short of it.
Bob Gibson takes part in Opening Day festivities
Bob Gibson takes part in Opening Day festivities / Jeff Curry/GettyImages
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The Cy Young Award was created in 1956 when Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers won the inaugural trophy. It was created to recognize the best pitcher in MLB, as pitchers didn't receive enough consideration in MVP voting. The award itself is named after Cy Young, who pitched for five teams across a 22-season span. He's the all-time leader in wins, losses, starts, complete games, innings pitched, hits allowed, earned runs allowed, and batters faced. Regarded as one of the best ever, Young likely would have captured several of these awards had they been around.

In theory, it's best compared to MLB's Hank Aaron Award, which is given to the best offensive player. This award debuted in 1999 and is a tribute to one of baseball's greatest sluggers. However, the Cy Young Award still functions as a separate MVP race for pitchers, though occasionally a pitcher is dominant enough to capture both the Cy Young Award and the MVP. Two examples include Justin Verlander in 2011 and Clayton Kershaw in 2014. Lastly, it must be noted that although relievers are eligible for Cy Young Award consideration, it hasn't happened since 2003, when Eric Gagne of the Dodgers captured the award. In the past, however, relievers often stood a decent chance, and dominant closers like Dennis Eckersley and Bruce Sutter captured the award.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Cardinals have only captured a total of three Cy Young Awards. While we will discuss each of these individual seasons, we'll also take some time to discuss those who put up incredible seasons, but ultimately fell short of the award. Without any further ado, let's get into the list.

Here are the Cardinals' Cy Young Award winners