Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award

Last updated
Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award (MVP)
Sport Baseball
League Major League Baseball
Awarded forRegular season most valuable player of American League and National League
CountryUnited States, Canada
Presented by Baseball Writers' Association of America
History
First award1931
Most recent José Abreu (AL)
Freddie Freeman (NL)

The Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) is an annual Major League Baseball (MLB) award given to one outstanding player in the American League and one in the National League. Since 1931, it has been awarded by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). Until 2020, the winners received the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award, which became the official name of the award in 1944, [1] in honor of the first MLB commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who served from 1920 until his death on November 25, 1944. [1] [2] Starting in 2020, Landis’ name will no longer appear on the MVP trophy after the BBWAA received complaints from several former MVP winners about the late Commissioner’s role against integration of MLB. [3]

Contents

MVP voting takes place before the postseason, but the results are not announced until after the World Series. The BBWAA began by polling three writers in each league city in 1938, reducing that number to two per league city in 1961. [4] The BBWAA does not offer a clear-cut definition of what "most valuable" means, instead leaving the judgment to the individual voters. [5] [6]

First basemen, with 34 winners, have won the most MVPs among infielders, followed by second basemen  (16), third basemen  (15), and shortstops  (15). Of the 25  pitchers who have won the award, 15 are right-handed while 10 are left-handed. Walter Johnson, Carl Hubbell, and Hal Newhouser are the only pitchers who have won multiple times, Newhouser winning consecutively in 1944 and 1945. [7] [8]

Hank Greenberg, Stan Musial, Alex Rodriguez, and Robin Yount have won at different positions, [7] while Rodriguez is the only player who has won the award with two different teams at two different positions. [9] Barry Bonds has won the most often (seven times) and the most consecutively (four: 2001–04). [10] Jimmie Foxx was the first player to win multiple times; [11] Ten players have won three times, and 19 have won twice. [12] Frank Robinson is the only player to win the award in both the American and National Leagues.

The award's only tie occurred in the National League in 1979, when Keith Hernandez and Willie Stargell received an equal number of points. [7] [13] There have been 18 unanimous winners, who received all the first-place votes. [4] The New York Yankees have the most winning players with 22, followed by the St. Louis Cardinals with 17 winners. The award has never been presented to a member of the following three teams: Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Mets, and Tampa Bay Rays.

In recent decades, pitchers have rarely won the award. When Justin Verlander won the AL award in 2011, he became the first pitcher in either league to be named the MVP since Dennis Eckersley in 1992. Verlander also became the first starting pitcher to win this award since Roger Clemens accomplished the feat in 1986. [14] The National League went even longer without an MVP award to a pitcher. After Bob Gibson won in 1968, no pitcher in that league was named MVP until Clayton Kershaw in 2014. [15]

Chalmers Award (1911–1914)

Ty Cobb won the first American League Chalmers Award in 1911 and was at the center of the controversy over the previous season's award. Ty-Cobb-1913-NPC-detail-1.jpeg
Ty Cobb won the first American League Chalmers Award in 1911 and was at the center of the controversy over the previous season's award.

Before the 1910 season, Hugh Chalmers of Chalmers Automobile announced he would present a Chalmers Model 30 automobile to the player with the highest batting average in Major League Baseball at the end of the season. The 1910 race for best average in the American League was between the Detroit Tigers' widely disliked [4] [16] [17] Ty Cobb and Nap Lajoie of the Cleveland Indians. On the last day of the season, Lajoie overtook Cobb's batting average with seven bunt hits against the St. Louis Browns. American League President Ban Johnson said a recalculation showed that Cobb had won the race anyway, and Chalmers ended up awarding cars to both players. [4]

The following season, Chalmers created the Chalmers Award. A committee of baseball writers were to convene after the season to determine the "most important and useful player to the club and to the league". Since the award was not as effective at advertising as Chalmers had hoped, it was discontinued after 1914. [4]

YearAmerican League winnerTeamPositionNational League winnerTeamPositionRef
1911 Ty Cobb Dagger-14-plain.png§ Detroit Tigers OF Frank Schulte Chicago Cubs OF [18]
1912 Tris Speaker Dagger-14-plain.png Boston Red Sox OF Larry Doyle New York Giants 2B [19]
1913 Walter Johnson Dagger-14-plain.png Washington Senators RHP Jake Daubert Brooklyn Dodgers 1B [20]
1914 Eddie Collins Dagger-14-plain.png Philadelphia Athletics 2B Johnny Evers Dagger-14-plain.png Boston Braves 2B [21]

League Awards (1922–1929)

Babe Ruth was ineligible for the award in his famous 1927 season by the rules of the American League award because he had previously won in 1923. Babe Ruth2.jpg
Babe Ruth was ineligible for the award in his famous 1927 season by the rules of the American League award because he had previously won in 1923.

In 1922 the American League created a new award to honor "the baseball player who is of the greatest all-around service to his club". [22] Winners, voted on by a committee of eight baseball writers chaired by James Crusinberry, [23] received a bronze medal and a cash prize. [24] Voters were required to select one player from each team and player-coaches and prior award winners were ineligible. Famously, these criteria resulted in Babe Ruth winning only a single MVP award before it was dropped after 1928. The National League award, without these restrictions, lasted from 1924 to 1929. [4]

YearAmerican League winnerTeamPositionNational League winnerTeamPositionRef
1922 George Sisler Dagger-14-plain.png St. Louis Browns 1B [25]
1923 Babe Ruth Dagger-14-plain.png§ New York Yankees OF [26]
1924 Walter Johnson Dagger-14-plain.png(2) Washington Senators RHP Dazzy Vance Dagger-14-plain.png Brooklyn Robins RHP [27]
1925 Roger Peckinpaugh Washington Senators SS Rogers Hornsby Dagger-14-plain.png St. Louis Cardinals 2B [28]
1926 George Burns Cleveland Indians 1B Bob O'Farrell St. Louis Cardinals C [29]
1927 Lou Gehrig Dagger-14-plain.png New York Yankees 1B Paul Waner Dagger-14-plain.png Pittsburgh Pirates OF [30]
1928 Mickey Cochrane Dagger-14-plain.png Philadelphia Athletics C Jim Bottomley Dagger-14-plain.png St. Louis Cardinals 1B [31]
1929 Rogers Hornsby Dagger-14-plain.png(2) Chicago Cubs 2B [32]

Baseball Writers' Association of America's Most Valuable Player (1931–present)

The BBWAA first awarded the modern MVP after the 1931 season, adopting the format the National League used to distribute its league award. One writer in each city with a team filled out a ten-place ballot, with ten points for the recipient of a first-place vote, nine for a second-place vote, and so on. In 1938, the BBWAA raised the number of voters to three per city and gave 14 points for a first-place vote. The only significant change since then occurred in 1961, when the number of voters was reduced to two per league city. [4]

Jimmie Foxx was the first player to win three MVP awards. Jimmie Foxx 1937 cropped.jpg
Jimmie Foxx was the first player to win three MVP awards.
Hall of Famer and 2-time MVP Hank Greenberg was the first player to win the award at two different fielding positions (1B and OF) Hank Greenberg 1937 cropped.jpg
Hall of Famer and 2-time MVP Hank Greenberg was the first player to win the award at two different fielding positions (1B and OF)
Jim Konstanty, to date the only National League relief pitcher to be named MVP won it in 1950. Jim Konstanty.jpg
Jim Konstanty, to date the only National League relief pitcher to be named MVP won it in 1950.
Hall of Famer Willie Mays won the award in 1954 and 1965 with the same team in different cities. Willie Mays cropped.jpg
Hall of Famer Willie Mays won the award in 1954 and 1965 with the same team in different cities.
Barry Bonds' seven MVPs are the most for any individual player. BarryBonds1993.jpg
Barry Bonds' seven MVPs are the most for any individual player.
Alex Rodriguez won the award with two different teams at two different positions. Alex Rodriguez Talking.jpg
Alex Rodriguez won the award with two different teams at two different positions.
Albert Pujols won the award three times, at first base with the St. Louis Cardinals. DSC05863 Albert Pujols.jpg
Albert Pujols won the award three times, at first base with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Miguel Cabrera was the winner of back-to-back AL Awards from 2012-13. Miguel Cabrera batting against Angels (2012-09-09).JPG
Miguel Cabrera was the winner of back-to-back AL Awards from 2012–13.
Josh Donaldson won the AL MVP in 2015. Josh Donaldson on September 30, 2015.jpg
Josh Donaldson won the AL MVP in 2015.
Christian Yelich was the winner of the NL MVP Award in 2018. Yelichbrewers (cropped).jpg
Christian Yelich was the winner of the NL MVP Award in 2018.
YearAmerican League winnerTeamPositionNational League winnerTeamPositionRef
1931 Lefty Grove Philadelphia Athletics *LHP Frankie Frisch St. Louis Cardinals*2B [33]
1932 Jimmie Foxx Philadelphia Athletics 1B Chuck Klein Philadelphia Phillies OF [34]
1933 Jimmie Foxx (2) Philadelphia Athletics 1B Carl Hubbell New York Giants *LHP [35]
1934 Mickey Cochrane (2) Detroit Tigers*C Dizzy Dean St. Louis Cardinals*RHP [36]
1935 Hank Greenberg †§ Detroit Tigers*1B Gabby Hartnett Chicago Cubs*C [37]
1936 Lou Gehrig (2) New York Yankees*1B Carl Hubbell †§ (2) New York Giants *LHP [38]
1937 Charlie Gehringer Detroit Tigers 2B Joe Medwick St. Louis Cardinals OF [39]
1938 Jimmie Foxx (3) Boston Red Sox 1B Ernie Lombardi Cincinnati Reds C [40]
1939 Joe DiMaggio New York Yankees*OF Bucky Walters Cincinnati Reds*RHP [41]
1940 Hank Greenberg (2) Detroit Tigers*OF Frank McCormick Cincinnati Reds*1B [42]
1941 Joe DiMaggio (2) New York Yankees*OF Dolph Camilli Brooklyn Dodgers *1B [43]
1942 Joe Gordon New York Yankees*2B Mort Cooper St. Louis Cardinals*RHP [44]
1943 Spud Chandler New York Yankees*RHP Stan Musial St. Louis Cardinals*OF [45]
1944 Hal Newhouser Detroit Tigers LHP Marty Marion St. Louis Cardinals*SS [46]
1945 Hal Newhouser (2) Detroit Tigers*LHP Phil Cavarretta Chicago Cubs*1B [47]
1946 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox*OF Stan Musial (2) St. Louis Cardinals*1B [48]
1947 Joe DiMaggio (3) New York Yankees*OF Bob Elliott Boston Braves 3B [49]
1948 Lou Boudreau Cleveland Indians*SS Stan Musial (3) St. Louis Cardinals OF [50]
1949 Ted Williams (2) Boston Red Sox OF Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers *2B [51]
1950 Phil Rizzuto New York Yankees*SS Jim Konstanty Philadelphia Phillies*RHP [52]
1951 Yogi Berra New York Yankees*C Roy Campanella Brooklyn Dodgers C [53]
1952 Bobby Shantz Philadelphia Athletics LHP Hank Sauer Chicago Cubs OF [54]
1953 Al Rosen § Cleveland Indians 3B Roy Campanella (2) Brooklyn Dodgers *C [55]
1954 Yogi Berra (2) New York Yankees C Willie Mays New York Giants *OF [56]
1955 Yogi Berra (3) New York Yankees*C Roy Campanella (3) Brooklyn Dodgers *C [57]
1956 Mickey Mantle †§ New York Yankees*OF Don Newcombe Brooklyn Dodgers *RHP [58]
1957 Mickey Mantle (2) New York Yankees*OF Hank Aaron Milwaukee Braves *OF [59]
1958 Jackie Jensen Boston Red Sox OF Ernie Banks Chicago Cubs SS [60]
1959 Nellie Fox Chicago White Sox*2B Ernie Banks (2) Chicago Cubs SS [61]
1960 Roger Maris New York Yankees*OF Dick Groat Pittsburgh Pirates*SS [62]
1961 Roger Maris (2) New York Yankees*OF Frank Robinson Cincinnati Reds*OF [63]
1962 Mickey Mantle (3) New York Yankees*OF Maury Wills Los Angeles Dodgers SS [64]
1963 Elston Howard New York Yankees*C Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers*LHP [65]
1964 Brooks Robinson Baltimore Orioles 3B Ken Boyer St. Louis Cardinals*3B [66]
1965 Zoilo Versalles Minnesota Twins*SS Willie Mays (2) San Francisco Giants OF [67]
1966 Frank Robinson †§ (2) Baltimore Orioles*OF Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates OF [68]
1967 Carl Yastrzemski Boston Red Sox*OF Orlando Cepeda †§ St. Louis Cardinals*1B [69]
1968 Denny McLain § Detroit Tigers*RHP Bob Gibson St. Louis Cardinals*RHP [70]
1969 Harmon Killebrew Minnesota Twins 3B Willie McCovey San Francisco Giants 1B [71]
1970 Boog Powell Baltimore Orioles*1B Johnny Bench Cincinnati Reds*C [72]
1971 Vida Blue Oakland Athletics LHP Joe Torre [c] St. Louis Cardinals 3B [73]
1972 Dick Allen Chicago White Sox 1B Johnny Bench (2) Cincinnati Reds*C [74]
1973 Reggie Jackson †§ Oakland Athletics*OF Pete Rose Cincinnati Reds OF [75]
1974 Jeff Burroughs Texas Rangers OF Steve Garvey Los Angeles Dodgers*1B [76]
1975 Fred Lynn Boston Red Sox*OF Joe Morgan Cincinnati Reds*2B [77]
1976 Thurman Munson New York Yankees*C Joe Morgan (2) Cincinnati Reds*2B [78]
1977 Rod Carew Minnesota Twins 1B George Foster Cincinnati Reds OF [79]
1978 Jim Rice Boston Red Sox OF Dave Parker Pittsburgh Pirates OF [80]
1979 Don Baylor California Angels LF/DH [81] Keith Hernandez [d] St. Louis Cardinals 1B [13]
Willie Stargell [d] Pittsburgh Pirates*1B
1980 George Brett Kansas City Royals*3B Mike Schmidt †§ Philadelphia Phillies*3B [82]
1981 Rollie Fingers Milwaukee Brewers RHP Mike Schmidt (2) Philadelphia Phillies 3B [83]
1982 Robin Yount Milwaukee Brewers*SS Dale Murphy Atlanta Braves OF [84]
1983 Cal Ripken, Jr. Baltimore Orioles*SS Dale Murphy (2) Atlanta Braves OF [85]
1984 Willie Hernández Detroit Tigers*LHP Ryne Sandberg Chicago Cubs 2B [86]
1985 Don Mattingly New York Yankees 1B Willie McGee St. Louis Cardinals*OF [87]
1986 Roger Clemens Boston Red Sox*RHP Mike Schmidt (3) Philadelphia Phillies 3B [88]
1987 George Bell Toronto Blue Jays OF Andre Dawson Chicago Cubs OF [89]
1988 Jose Canseco § Oakland Athletics*OF Kirk Gibson Los Angeles Dodgers*OF [90]
1989 Robin Yount (2) Milwaukee Brewers OF Kevin Mitchell San Francisco Giants*OF [91]
1990 Rickey Henderson Oakland Athletics*OF Barry Bonds Pittsburgh Pirates OF [92]
1991 Cal Ripken, Jr. (2) Baltimore Orioles SS Terry Pendleton Atlanta Braves*3B [93]
1992 Dennis Eckersley Oakland Athletics RHP Barry Bonds (2) Pittsburgh Pirates OF [94]
1993 Frank Thomas †§ Chicago White Sox 1B Barry Bonds (3) San Francisco Giants OF [95]
1994 Frank Thomas (2) Chicago White Sox 1B Jeff Bagwell †§ Houston Astros 1B [96]
1995 Mo Vaughn Boston Red Sox 1B Barry Larkin Cincinnati Reds SS [97]
1996 Juan González Texas Rangers OF Ken Caminiti § San Diego Padres 3B [98]
1997 Ken Griffey, Jr. †§ Seattle Mariners OF Larry Walker Colorado Rockies OF [99]
1998 Juan González (2) Texas Rangers OF Sammy Sosa Chicago Cubs OF [100]
1999 Iván Rodríguez Texas Rangers C Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves*3B [101]
2000 Jason Giambi Oakland Athletics 1B Jeff Kent San Francisco Giants 2B [102]
2001 Ichiro Suzuki Seattle Mariners OF Barry Bonds (4) San Francisco Giants OF [103] [104]
2002 Miguel Tejada Oakland Athletics SS Barry Bonds § (5) San Francisco Giants*OF [105]
2003 Alex Rodriguez Texas Rangers SS Barry Bonds (6) San Francisco Giants OF [106]
2004 Vladimir Guerrero Anaheim Angels OF Barry Bonds (7) San Francisco Giants OF [107]
2005 Alex Rodriguez (2) New York Yankees 3B Albert Pujols ^ St. Louis Cardinals 1B [108]
2006 Justin Morneau Minnesota Twins 1B Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies 1B [109]
2007 Alex Rodriguez (3) New York Yankees 3B Jimmy Rollins Philadelphia Phillies SS [110]
2008 Dustin Pedroia Boston Red Sox 2B Albert Pujols ^ (2) St. Louis Cardinals 1B [111]
2009 Joe Mauer Minnesota Twins C Albert Pujols (3) St. Louis Cardinals 1B [104] [112]
2010 Josh Hamilton Texas Rangers*OF Joey Votto ^ Cincinnati Reds 1B [113] [114]
2011 Justin Verlander ^ Detroit Tigers RHP Ryan Braun ^ Milwaukee Brewers OF [115] [116]
2012 Miguel Cabrera ^ Detroit Tigers*3B Buster Posey ^ San Francisco Giants*C [117] [118]
2013 Miguel Cabrera ^ (2) Detroit Tigers 3B Andrew McCutchen ^ Pittsburgh Pirates OF [119] [120]
2014 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels OF Clayton Kershaw ^ Los Angeles Dodgers LHP [15] [121]
2015 Josh Donaldson ^ Toronto Blue Jays 3B Bryce Harper Washington Nationals OF [122] [123]
2016 Mike Trout ^ (2) Los Angeles Angels OF Kris Bryant ^ Chicago Cubs*3B/OF [124]
2017 José Altuve ^ Houston Astros*2B Giancarlo Stanton ^ Miami Marlins OF [125]
2018 Mookie Betts ^ Boston Red Sox*OF Christian Yelich ^ Milwaukee Brewers OF [126]
2019 Mike Trout ^ (3) Los Angeles Angels OF Cody Bellinger ^ Los Angeles Dodgers OF [127]
2020 José Abreu ^ Chicago White Sox 1B Freddie Freeman ^ Atlanta Braves 1B [128]

Key

YearLinks to the article about the corresponding Major League Baseball season
Dagger-14-plain.pngMember of the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a player [129] [130]
^Denotes player who is still active [a]
§Unanimous selection [b] [4]
Player(X)Denotes winning player and number of times they had won the award at that point
*Team won League Pennant
P Pitcher (RHP indicates right-handed; LHP indicates left-handed)
C Catcher
1B First baseman
2B Second baseman
3B Third baseman
SS Shortstop
OF Outfielder
DH Designated hitter

Wins by team

TeamsAwardsYears
New York Yankees 221923, 1927, 1936, 1939, 1941–43, 1947, 1950–51, 1954–57, 1960–63, 1976, 1985, 2005, 2007
St. Louis Cardinals 201925-26, 1928, 1931, 1934, 1937, 1942–44, 1946, 1948, 1964, 1967–68, 1971, 1979, 1985, 2005, 2008-09
Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers 141913, 1924, 1941, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1955–56, 1962, 1963, 1974, 1988, 2014, 2019
New York/San Francisco Giants 1912, 1933, 1936, 1954, 1965, 1969, 1989, 1993, 2000–04, 2012
Philadelphia/Oakland Athletics 131914, 1928, 1931–33, 1952, 1971, 1973, 1988, 1990, 1992, 2000, 2002
Boston Red Sox 121912, 1938, 1946, 1949, 1958, 1967, 1975, 1978, 1986, 1995, 2008, 2018
Cincinnati Reds 1938-40, 1961, 1970, 1972–1973, 1975–76, 1977, 1995, 2010
Detroit Tigers 1911, 1934–35, 1937, 1940, 1944–45, 1968, 1984, 2011–13
Chicago Cubs 111911, 1929, 1935, 1945, 1952, 1958–59, 1984, 1987, 1998, 2016
Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins 81913, 1924–25, 1965, 1969, 1977, 2006, 2009
Pittsburgh Pirates 1927, 1960, 1966, 1978–79, 1990, 1992, 2013
Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves 1914, 1947, 1957, 1982–83, 1991, 1999, 2020
Philadelphia Phillies 71932, 1950, 1980–1981, 1986, 2006–07
Baltimore Orioles/St. Louis Browns 61922, 1964, 1966, 1970, 1983, 1991
Texas Rangers 1974, 1996, 1998–99, 2003, 2010
Los Angeles Angels 51979, 2004, 2014, 2016, 2019
Milwaukee Brewers 1981-82, 1989, 2011, 2018
Chicago White Sox 1959, 1972, 1993–94, 2020
Cleveland Indians 31926, 1948, 1953
Houston Astros 21994, 2017
Seattle Mariners 1997, 2001
Toronto Blue Jays 1987, 2015
Kansas City Royals 11980
Miami Marlins 2017
San Diego Padres 1996
Colorado Rockies 1997
Washington Nationals 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks 0none
New York Mets none
Tampa Bay Rays none

See also

Notes

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