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Friday, October 4, 2013

MVP since 1931 by position.

The modern Most Valuable Player (MVP) award started in 1931 with one player selected in the American League and one in the National League.  Originally, votes of the writers were simply counted, then a point system was implemented with each voter placing up to ten names on the ballot in order: 14 points for first, 9 for second, 8 for third, ...

In 1956 the Cy Young award was created for the best pitcher in part because pitchers were winning the MVP award so often.  Originally, only one Cy Young award was given, then after Sandy Koufax dominated, one pitcher in each league was voted to be the best.

The writers are required to vote before the tournament begins, although I don't know how that actually works, especially with the extra play-in game between Texas and Tampa, which was a regular season game.

Click this link to view the detailed data on recipients of the MVP award..

Here is the count of MVP winners by fielding position, including some players winning multiple times.

POS CountOfplayerID
1B 29
LF 22
RF 21
P 21
C 16
3B 16
SS 15
CF 15
2B 10

This may be another reason the Yankees should not make too big an offer to their second baseman Robinson Cano.  Here are the nine second basemen voted MVP with only Joe Morgan winning more than once:

POS nameFirst nameLast yearID lgID teamID
2B Frankie Frisch 1931 NL SLN
2B Charlie Gehringer 1937 AL DET
2B Joe Gordon 1942 AL NYA
2B Jackie Robinson 1949 NL BRO
2B Nellie Fox 1959 AL CHA
2B Joe Morgan 1975 NL CIN
2B Joe Morgan 1976 NL CIN
2B Ryne Sandberg 1984 NL CHN
2B Jeff Kent 2000 NL SFN
2B Dustin Pedroia 2008 AL BOS

Ernie Banks and Cal Ripken are the only shortstops to win more than once, twice each.

Robin Yount won once as a shortstop and later as a center fielder.  The only other players to win at multiple positions: 
Stan Musial: twice in right and once at first
Alex Rodriguez: short and twice at third
Hank Greenberg: first and left.

Barry Bonds, of course, skews the number for left fielders with 7 of the 22.  Ted Williams is the only other in left with multiple MVP: two, although he probably should have won more.

Of the 15 MVP in center these players dominate with 10:

Of the 21 in right the most by an individual is two by these players:
Stan Musial
Frank Robinson, the only player to win at least one MVP in each league

Of the 16 wins at third are these multiple winners:
Alex Rodriguez 2

Of 16 at catcher half are by are these multiple MVP:

Of the whopping 29 at first there are these multiple MVP:

Of 21 for pitchers there are these multiple MVP:

Three relief pitchers have been MVP, all in the AL:

The only MVP pitcher since 1992: Justin Verlander 2011.

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