Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MVP vs MVP in the Fall Classic

The World Series between the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants should be a fun one. It also could be showcasing both of 2012's Most Valuable Player Award winners.

San Francisco catcher Buster Posey is the consensus favorite to take home the award in the National League. The American League race is much more controversial. While Angels center fielder Mike Trout gets my fictional vote (another argument for another time), Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera has had a monster season for the Tigers and is the favorite to nab the honor in the A.L.

That got me wondering...how often have that year's MVPs faced each other in the World Series?

The MVP was first awarded by the Baseball Writers Association of America in 1931. But there were two earlier incarnations of the award. The Chalmers Award was given out from 1911-1914 and the League Award was given out from 1922-1929.

So here are the instances of MVPs squaring off on the ultimate stage:

Year NL MVP AL MVP World Series
1912 Larry Doyle (NYG) Tris Speaker (BOS) BOS d. NYG
1914 Johnny Evers (BSN) Eddie Collins (PHA) BSN d. PHA
1927 Paul Waner (PIT) Lou Gehrig (NYY) NYY d. PIT
1931 Frankie Frisch (STL) Lefty Grove (PHA) STL d. PHA
1934 Dizzy Dean (STL) Mickey Cochrane (DET) STL d. DET
1935 Gabby Hartnett (CHN) Hank Greenberg (DET) DET d. CHN
1936 Carl Hubbell (NYG) Lou Gehrig (NYY) NYY d. NYG
1939 Bucky Walters (CIN) Joe Dimaggio (NYY) NYY d. CIN
1940 Frank McCormick (CIN) Hank Greenberg (DET) CIN d. DET
1941 Dolph Camilli (BKN) Joe Dimaggio (NYY) NYY d. BKN
1942 Mort Cooper (STL) Joe Gordon (NYY) STL d. NYY
1943 Stan Musial (STL) Spud Chandler (NYY) NYY d. STL
1945 Phil Cavarretta (CHN) Hal Newhouser (DET) DET d. CHN
1946 Stan Musial (STL) Ted Williams (BOS) STL d. BOS
1950 Jim Konstanty (PHI) Phil Rizzuto (NYY) NYY d. PHI
1955 Roy Campanella (BKN) Yogi Berra (NYY) BKN d. NYY
1956 Don Newcombe (BKN) Mickey Mantle (NYY) NYY d. BKN
1957 Hank Aaron (MLN) Mickey Mantle (NYY) MLN d. NYY
1960 Dick Groat (PIT) Roger Maris (NYY) PIT d. NYY
1961 Frank Robinson (CIN) Roger Maris (NYY) NYY d. CIN
1963 Sandy Koufax (LAD) Elston Howard (NYY) LAD d. NYY
1967 Orlando Cepeda (STL) Carl Yastrzemski (BOS) STL d. BOS
1968 Bob Gibson (STL) Denny McLain (DET) DET d. STL
1970 Johnny Bench (CIN) Boog Powell (BAL) BAL d. CIN
1975 Joe Morgan (CIN) Fred Lynn (BOS) CIN d. BOS
1976 Joe Morgan (CIN) Thurman Munson (NYY) CIN d. NYY
1980 Mike Schmidt (PHI) George Brett (KC) PHI d. KC
1988 Kirk Gibson (LAD) Jose Canseco (OAK) LAD d. OAK

It's happened 28 times, with 25 coming since the inception of the modern award in 1931. 11 of these 25 occurrences happened in the first 16 years (1931-46).

20 of the 25 came before divisional play began in 1969. That makes sense, because when only the league's top team won the pennant, the writers would sometimes give the award to a player on that team, perhaps at the expense of a more deserving player.

Since the start of the LCS era it's only happened five times, with just one coming after 1980. So if Posey and Cabrera do take home their respective league's MVP, it will be very unique for recent times.

1 comment:

  1. No argument needed for Trout over Cabrera. I think most reasonable baseball fans would agree. Trout got my fictional vote as well: http://rsnalberta.blogspot.ca/2012/10/2012-al-stan-musial-award.html