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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Baseball has two stats leaders and two MVP. Football and basketball have one.

This afternoon at 4:25 PM the New York Giants, who play their home games in New Jersey, are in Dallas to play the Cowboys who have the National Football League (NFL) rushing leader, DeMarco Murray.  This caused me to check for the most recent Giant to lead the NFL in rushing.


The answer is Eddie Price in 1951.  I've been a Giants fan since 1960 but I had never heard of Eddie Price who played all 12 games in 1951, including two against the New York Yanks.  Once upon a time there was also an NFL team named the Brooklyn Dodgers.  OK, enough digression.

Looking down the list to find Eddie Price I noticed for the umpteenth time that the NFL has only one leader for a stat, not one for each conference.  Same for its Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.  Same for the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Merger: AL and NL merged years ago. How come no one noticed?  Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why two MVP awards?  Friday, November 1, 2013

The modern (baseball) MVP started in 1931 with a winner selected in each of the two major leagues: American and National.  That has continued through 2012 even though those two leagues merged into one ...

How have the other two team sports handled awards after mergers?  ...

The National Football League (NFL) started in 1922.  The American Football League (AFL) started in 1960.  They merged following the 1969 season ...

John Brodie 1966 by Frank Rippon
via Wikimedia Commons
... (MVP) for the 1970 season: John Brodie, San Francisco 49ers, Quarterback of the National Conference in the NFL.  No separate MVP for the American Conference.

The National  Basketball Association (NBA) started in the late 1940s ...

The first season of the American Basketball Association (ABA) was 1967–1968...

Abdul-Jabbar won the first MVP of the new merged league in 1976-1977.  The NBA formed two conferences: East and West...

OK, you get the idea: two leagues merge and there's only one award.  If you're still clinging to the delusion that the two old baseball leagues never merged and that their identities have meaning, consider this: a 15 year old kid thinks that the Boston Red Sox are a dynasty.

Of course this would make achieving a triple crown (leading in batting average (BA), home runs (HR) and runs batted in (RBI)) even more difficult.  Of the few players with a triple crown, only these led all major leagues:
Ty Cobb 1909
Rogers Hornsby 1925
Lou Gehrig 1934
Ted Williams 1942
Mickey Mantle 1956.

In 2012 American Conference triple crown batter Miguel Cabrera led the entire merged league in HR and RBI but Buster Posey in the National Conference had a higher BA, not to mention Posey's teammate Melky Cabrera who asked that his league high BA be withdrawn because he did not want to be considered for the "honor" after being suspended for using PED.  Commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig went along with this nonsense as did many in the media and to its discredit baseball-reference.com.   It's a stat, not an honor!

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