NEW YORK, NOV. 7 -- Cleveland Indians catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. today became the third unanimous rookie-of-the-year honoree, winning the AL award.

Alomar joined Mark McGwire (1987, A's) and Carlton Fisk (1972, Red Sox) as the only major-leaguers so honored since the inception of the AL and NL awards in 1947. Alomar, 24, hit .290 with nine homers and 66 RBI and is the only rookie catcher to start an all-star game.

He was a two-time minor league player of the year in the San Diego system, but was unable to break into the Padres' lineup because of all-star Benito Santiago. In December the Padres, who employ Alomar's father, Sandy, as a coach and his brother, Roberto, as a second baseman, traded him and two others to the Indians for Joe Carter.

Alomar, Fisk and the late Thurman Munson are the only catchers to win the AL rookie award. Alomar is the fourth Indian to receive the honor, along with Herb Score, Chris Chambliss and Joe Charboneau.

"You only get one chance to get this. To get it unanimously is much better," Alomar said from Japan, where he is touring with a team of major league all-stars.

Next up among postseason honors are the Cy Young Awards -- the AL's Tuesday, the NL's a day later.