The Jackie Robinson Awards are given by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) to the best first-year Major League Baseball player in both the National League and the American League.
Voting is subjective and is open only to BBWAA members. Members may name three players on their ballots. The first player receives five points, the second three points, and the third receives one point. The eligible player with the most points wins the award for his league.
Eligibility requirements were formalized in 1971. A "rookie" is any position player with less than 130 at-bats, any pitcher with less than 50 innings pitched, or any player with less than 45 days on a Major League roster at the beginning of the season being voted upon.
The award was created in 1947, and until 1949 there was only one winner for both leagues. The award was known simply as the Rookie of The Year Award until 1987, when it was renamed in honor of Robinson, the award's first winner and the first black player in the Major Leagues.
As with many things in baseball, there is some superstition surrounding the award, and many regard it as a mixed omen. While many rookies who have won the award have gone on to the illustrious careers forecast for them, an equal number have quickly faded into obscurity, their rookie accolades representing the pinnacles of their brief careers.