Although he was better known as the Giants pitching coach during their dynasty of the 2010's, Dave Righetti was once quite the player himself. As a rookie in 1981, he won eight, lost four and posted a 2.05 ERA on his way to earning the AL Rookie of the Year Award.
His first start came on May 23 of that year, a 3-2 win over the Cleveland Indians. In that game, he struck out seven and posted a 2.57 ERA. Six days later, he beat the Indians again, this time by a score of 5-2 while posting a more respectable 1.80 ERA.
Arguably his best game as a rookie came on September 11, 1981 against Boston. While the Yankees won handidly (4-1), Dave Righetti struck out 11 while posting a season's best 1.59 ERA. He ended his rookie year having struck out 89 batters while allowing just a single home run.
By the time the regular season had come to a close, it didn't matter how he did in the postseason that year. It didn't even matter that he pitched poorly in the two innings that he was given in the World Series, a loss to the Dodgers. In the eyes of the BBWA, Dave Righetti had done enough. On November 30, 1981, Dave Righetti was officially recognized as the AL Rookie of the Year.