Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Justin Verlander, just days removed from winning the American League Cy Young Award, was named the American League MVP.

He’s the first pitcher since Dennis Eckersley in 1992 to win the award, and the first starting pitcher to take home both awards since Roger Clemens in 1986.

Verlander led the league in victories (24), strikeouts (250), and ERA (2.40), achieving the rare pitcher’s triple crown. Boston outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury finished second in voting, and Toronto’s Jose Bautista was third.

Verlander also joins Don Newcombe as the only hurlers to earn an MVP, Cy Young Award, and Rookie of the Year honors in his career. His award didn’t come without controversy, though, as some fans believe that the award should be left open only to hitters.

Verlander responded to this criticism: “Pitchers are on the ballot,” he said. “We are players.”

[The New York Times]