Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb won the National League Cy Young Award on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old right-hander earned 15 of 32 first-place votes and 103 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
"It's with you forever," Webb said. "To have that title go along with you means a lot."
San Diego Padres reliever Trevor Hoffman, who broke the career saves record last season, finished second with 12 first-place votes and 77 points. St. Louis Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter, last year's winner, was third with two first-place votes and 63 points.
"All three of us probably were deserving of it and probably a couple more guys, too," Webb said. "I knew that I had a pretty good chance.
"I was pretty surprised that Carpenter didn't get as many first-place votes. I thought it would be between me and Carpenter."
Webb posted a 16-8 record this season with a 3.10 earned-run average, the fourth-best in the majors, and threw a career-high 235 innings while recording a career-high 178 strikeouts.
"Basically, I just tried to do what I've done the last three years, which is throw a lot of sinkers," he said.
Webb went unbeaten in his first 13 starts of the campaign, posting an 8-0 record with a 2.14 ERA over that span.
He also ran off a 30-inning scoreless streak from May 20 to June 5 and played in baseball's all-star game for the first time in his four-year career.
"Early in my career, even in the minor leagues, if I had a bad inning or something went wrong, I'd show emotion out there and let that get to me," Webb said. "Every year, I've tried to improve on that."
His 16 victories tied five other pitchers for the most wins in the NL, but it was also the lowest win total by a Cy Young winner in any year not shortened by a labour stoppage.
The previous low was 17 wins by Pedro Martinez of the Montreal Expos in 1997 and Randy Johnson for Arizona in 1999.
Webb is the second Arizona pitcher to win the honour as the NL's best pitcher, following in the footsteps of Johnson, who won four consecutive Cy Young Awards from 1999-2002.
The American League Cy Young Award winner will be announced Thursday.