Reliever of the Year Award
The Reliever of the Year was one of the annual awards given out by the Sporting News from 1960 to 2010. It was designed to honor the best relief pitcher in baseball and was the first official recognition of relief pitchers as a specific class of players. A winning player was chosen in each league. The award was often called the Fireman of the Year although this was never its official name. It should not be confused with the Japanese award called the Fireman of the Year.
In 1976, Major League Baseball introduced the Rolaids Relief Award which rapidly became the most prestigious award for relievers. The major difference between the two awards was that the MLB-sponsored award was based on a points system, whereas the one given out by the Sporting News was based on a vote conducted by the magazine based on subjective criteria. In practice, however, there was very little difference between the two lists of winners.