Congratulations to Joey Votto
November 23rd, 2010 by slangon

Yesterday it was announced that The Reds Joey Votto won the National League Most Valuable Player Award. Although I really didn’t have any vested interest in any of the leading candidates, I was pretty happy to see the young 1st baseman get the honors. I don’t have anything particular against Albert Pujols, but sometimes it’s just nice to see someone else win something for a change.

The article I happened to be reading about his winning the award on MLB.com made mention that the Reds have won 12 MVPs in their history. It also made mention that the Cardinal’s have won the most National League MVPs, and shockingly, the Yankees have won the most American League MVPs. That made me curious to know what the break down of wins was, so I looked it all up on baseball-reference.com and turned it into a handy dandy reference table.

Team Number of MVP’s World Series Titles
St. Louis Cardinals 20 10
New York / San Francisco Giants 13 6
Cincinnati Reds 12 5
Brooklyn / Los Angeles Dodgers 12 5
Chicago Cubs 10 2
Boston / Milwaukee / Atalanta Braves 7 3
Philadelphia Phillies 7 2
Pittsburgh Pirates 7 5
Colorado Rockies 1 0
Houston Astros 1 0
San Diego Padres 1 0
Arizona Diamondbacks 0 1
Florida Marlins 0 2
Milwaukee Brewers 0 0
New York Mets 0 2
Montreal Expos / Washington Nationals 0 0

As you can see, for teams that have moved around, I just lumped all of the awards together, regardless of what city the team was in at the time. Also, the Brewers as listed as having won no MVP’s, but that is only since they moved to the National League.

You can also see that all the teams that have 1 or less MVPs are all the expansion teams, which makes sense. You would think that the 8 teams that have been around the longest would have the most awards. It also makes sense that the list of teams with the most MVPs pretty much mirrors the list of teams with the most World Series titles. If you flip flop the Cubs and the Pirates, it’s pretty much exact. I’m not saying that you need to have an MVP on your team to win the Series, and I’m not saying you need to win the World Series to be voted MVP, but one thing obviously influences the other.

When I was researching this information, I found a couple of interesting things. First of all, the M.V.P. Award was not always known as the M.V.P. Award. Initially, from 1911-1914, Hugh Chalmers of Chalmers Automobile had a group of baseball writers determine the “most important and useful player to the club and to the league” and awarded them the Chalmers Award. (In 1910, he also tried to give a car to whoever ended up with the highest batting average, but that didn’t work out too well.) Apparently, the Chalmers Award wasn’t working well enough as an advertising gimmick, so it was nixed after 1914.

Starting in 1922, the American League started to award medals and cash to “the baseball player who is of the greatest all-around service to his club” as determined by a committee of 8 writers. Apparently though, player-coaches were not eligible, nor were past award winners. These restrictions caused this incarnation to be discontinued after 1928. The National League did not start awarding this prize until 1924, so there was actually 2 years when there was an A.L. MVP but no N.L. MVP. They also didn’t place restrictions on who was eligble, so the award actually lasted one year after the A.L. gave it up, which led to there being a N.L. MVP, but no A.L. MVP. Got all that? Good.

Neither league picked a Most Valuable Player in 1930, but starting in 1931 the BBWAA began awarding the title to one player from each league following the same format that is in place today.

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