Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award

Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award (MVP)
A black circle with an octagonal read "KENESAW MOUNTAIN LANDIS MEMORIAL BASEBALL AWARD". In the middle of the octagon is a baseball diamond which contains, from the top, Judge Landis' face in gold, "Most Valuable Player", the winner's league, his name in a gold rectangle, and his team.
The Most Valuable Player Award given to Hank Aaron in 1957
SportBaseball
LeagueMajor League Baseball
Awarded forRegular season most valuable player of American League and National League
CountryUnited States, Canada
Presented byBaseball Writers' Association of America
History
First award1931
Most recentRonald Acuña Jr. (NL)
Shohei Ohtani (AL)

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. The award has been presented by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) since 1931.

History

Since 1931, a Most Valuable Player Award has been bestowed by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) to a player in the National League and a player in the American League. Before 1931, two similar awards were issued—the League Award was issued during 1922–1928 in the American League and during 1924–1929 in the National League, and during 1911–1914, the Chalmers Award was issued to a player in each league. Criteria and a list of winners for these two earlier awards are detailed in below sections.

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. The BBWAA does not offer a clear-cut definition of what "most valuable" means, instead leaving the judgment to the individual voters.

In 1944, the award was named after Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first Commissioner of Baseball, who served from 1920 until his death on November 25, 1944. Formally named the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award, that naming appeared on a plaque given to winning players. Starting in 2020, Landis' name no longer appears on the MVP plaque after the BBWAA received complaints from several former MVP winners about Landis' role against the integration of MLB.

First basemen, with 35 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, with Newhouser winning consecutively in 1944 and 1945.

Hank Greenberg, Stan Musial, Alex Rodriguez, and Robin Yount have won at different positions, while Rodriguez is the only player who has won the award with two different teams at two different positions. Rodriguez and Andre Dawson are the only players to win the award while on a last-place team, the 2003 Texas Rangers and 1987 Chicago Cubs, respectively. Barry Bonds has won the most often (seven times) and the most consecutively (four from 2001 to 2004). Jimmie Foxx was the first player to win multiple times – 10 players have won three times, and 19 have won twice. 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. There have been 19 unanimous winners, who received all the first-place votes. The New York Yankees have the most winning players with 23, followed by the St. Louis Cardinals with 21 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 Shohei Ohtani won the AL award in 2021, he became the first pitcher in either league to be named the MVP since Clayton Kershaw in 2014, and the first in the American League since Justin Verlander in 2011. Ohtani also became the first two-way player to win the award and in 2023, he became the first player in MLB history to win MVP by unanimous vote twice. Since the creation of the Cy Young Award in 1956, he is the only pitcher to win an MVP award without winning a Cy Young in the same year (Don Newcombe, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers, Willie Hernández, Roger Clemens, Dennis Eckersley, Justin Verlander, and Clayton Kershaw all won a Cy Young award in their MVP seasons).

Ironically, there was no award given by either league in 1930, which meant that one of the single greatest performances ever went unheralded when Hack Wilson of the Chicago Cubs set the (still standing) MLB record for RBI with 191. He also batted .356 and set the NL record with 56 HRs, a record which stood for 68 years until Sammy Sosa (66) and Mark McGuire (70) both eclipsed him.

Key

Year Links to the article about the corresponding Major League Baseball season
Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a player
^ Player is still active
§ Unanimous selection
Player (X) Denotes winning player and number of times they had won the award at that point
* Team won the 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

Chalmers Award (1911–1914)

Ty Cobb looking just to the left of the camera.
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 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.

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

Year American League winner Team Position National League winner Team Position Ref
1911 Ty Cobb§ Detroit Tigers OF Frank Schulte Chicago Cubs OF
1912 Tris Speaker Boston Red Sox OF Larry Doyle New York Giants 2B
1913 Walter Johnson Washington Senators RHP Jake Daubert Brooklyn Superbas 1B
1914 Eddie Collins Philadelphia Athletics 2B Johnny Evers Boston Braves 2B

League Awards (1922–1929)

A man in full baseball attire wears a pinstriped jersey and a hat with overlapping white "N" and "Y". Looking to the left of the camera, he is holding a baseball upward.
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". Winners, voted on by a committee of eight baseball writers chaired by James Crusinberry, received a bronze medal and a cash prize. 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.

Year American League winner Team Position National League winner Team Position Ref
1922 George Sisler St. Louis Browns 1B
1923 Babe Ruth§ New York Yankees OF
1924 Walter Johnson (2) Washington Senators RHP Dazzy Vance Brooklyn Robins RHP
1925 Roger Peckinpaugh Washington Senators SS Rogers Hornsby St. Louis Cardinals 2B
1926 George Burns Cleveland Indians 1B Bob O'Farrell St. Louis Cardinals C
1927 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees 1B Paul Waner Pittsburgh Pirates OF
1928 Mickey Cochrane Philadelphia Athletics C Jim Bottomley St. Louis Cardinals 1B
1929 Rogers Hornsby (2) Chicago Cubs 2B

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

The BBWAA was 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.

A man is pictured from his belt up looking to the left of the camera. His button-down baseball jersey says "RED SOX" across it and he is wearing a baseball hat with a "B".
Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx was the first player to win three MVP awards.
Hall of Famer and two-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.
The face of a dark-skinned man who is smiling widely. The letters "S" and "F" overlap on his hat.
Hall of Famer Willie Mays won the award in 1954 and 1965 with the same team in different cities.
Hall of Famer Frank Robinson is the only player to win the award in both leagues (NL in 1961, and AL in 1966).
An African-American man looks just right off the camera. His helmet and white jersey both have an orange "S" over the "F" logo on them. The man's left arm is crossed over his body and his right is out of the picture. There is a black and orange glove on his left hand.
Barry Bonds' seven MVPs are the most for any individual player.
A Hispanic man walking while shouting at someone out of the picture. His helmet is emblazoned with a white "N" and "Y" intertwined, and "NEW YORK" is stitched in black letters across his button-down jersey. The player is holding a black baseball bat almost vertically with black, gray, and white gloves.
Alex Rodriguez won the award with two different teams at two different positions.
A right-handed batter is at the plate, looking toward the pitcher's mound. Wearing a red uniform and white pants, there is a crowd behind him with jerseys of various colors.
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 to 2013.
Mike Trout is the most recent player to win the award three times.
Shohei Ohtani is currently the only player to unanimously win the award twice.
Year American League winner Team Position National League winner Team Position Ref
1931 Lefty Grove Philadelphia Athletics* LHP Frankie Frisch St. Louis Cardinals* 2B
1932 Jimmie Foxx Philadelphia Athletics 1B Chuck Klein Philadelphia Phillies OF
1933 Jimmie Foxx (2) Philadelphia Athletics 1B Carl Hubbell New York Giants* LHP
1934 Mickey Cochrane (2) Detroit Tigers* C Dizzy Dean St. Louis Cardinals* RHP
1935 Hank Greenberg†§ Detroit Tigers* 1B Gabby Hartnett Chicago Cubs* C
1936 Lou Gehrig (2) New York Yankees* 1B Carl Hubbell†§ (2) New York Giants* LHP
1937 Charlie Gehringer Detroit Tigers 2B Joe Medwick St. Louis Cardinals OF
1938 Jimmie Foxx (3) Boston Red Sox 1B Ernie Lombardi Cincinnati Reds C
1939 Joe DiMaggio New York Yankees* OF Bucky Walters Cincinnati Reds* RHP
1940 Hank Greenberg (2) Detroit Tigers* OF Frank McCormick Cincinnati Reds* 1B
1941 Joe DiMaggio (2) New York Yankees* OF Dolph Camilli Brooklyn Dodgers* 1B
1942 Joe Gordon New York Yankees* 2B Mort Cooper St. Louis Cardinals* RHP
1943 Spud Chandler New York Yankees* RHP Stan Musial St. Louis Cardinals* OF
1944 Hal Newhouser Detroit Tigers LHP Marty Marion St. Louis Cardinals* SS
1945 Hal Newhouser (2) Detroit Tigers* LHP Phil Cavarretta Chicago Cubs* 1B
1946 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox* OF Stan Musial (2) St. Louis Cardinals* 1B
1947 Joe DiMaggio (3) New York Yankees* OF Bob Elliott Boston Braves 3B
1948 Lou Boudreau Cleveland Indians* SS Stan Musial (3) St. Louis Cardinals OF
1949 Ted Williams (2) Boston Red Sox OF Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers* 2B
1950 Phil Rizzuto New York Yankees* SS Jim Konstanty Philadelphia Phillies* RHP
1951 Yogi Berra New York Yankees* C Roy Campanella Brooklyn Dodgers C
1952 Bobby Shantz Philadelphia Athletics LHP Hank Sauer Chicago Cubs OF
1953 Al Rosen§ Cleveland Indians 3B Roy Campanella (2) Brooklyn Dodgers* C
1954 Yogi Berra (2) New York Yankees C Willie Mays New York Giants* OF
1955 Yogi Berra (3) New York Yankees* C Roy Campanella (3) Brooklyn Dodgers* C
1956 Mickey Mantle†§ New York Yankees* OF Don Newcombe Brooklyn Dodgers* RHP
1957 Mickey Mantle (2) New York Yankees* OF Hank Aaron Milwaukee Braves* OF
1958 Jackie Jensen Boston Red Sox OF Ernie Banks Chicago Cubs SS
1959 Nellie Fox Chicago White Sox* 2B Ernie Banks (2) Chicago Cubs SS
1960 Roger Maris New York Yankees* OF Dick Groat Pittsburgh Pirates* SS
1961 Roger Maris (2) New York Yankees* OF Frank Robinson Cincinnati Reds* OF
1962 Mickey Mantle (3) New York Yankees* OF Maury Wills Los Angeles Dodgers SS
1963 Elston Howard New York Yankees* C Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers* LHP
1964 Brooks Robinson Baltimore Orioles 3B Ken Boyer St. Louis Cardinals* 3B
1965 Zoilo Versalles Minnesota Twins* SS Willie Mays (2) San Francisco Giants OF
1966 Frank Robinson†§ (2) Baltimore Orioles* OF Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates OF
1967 Carl Yastrzemski Boston Red Sox* OF Orlando Cepeda†§ St. Louis Cardinals* 1B
1968 Denny McLain§ Detroit Tigers* RHP Bob Gibson St. Louis Cardinals* RHP
1969 Harmon Killebrew Minnesota Twins 3B Willie McCovey San Francisco Giants 1B
1970 Boog Powell Baltimore Orioles* 1B Johnny Bench Cincinnati Reds* C
1971 Vida Blue Oakland Athletics LHP Joe Torre St. Louis Cardinals 3B
1972 Dick Allen Chicago White Sox 1B Johnny Bench (2) Cincinnati Reds* C
1973 Reggie Jackson†§ Oakland Athletics* OF Pete Rose Cincinnati Reds OF
1974 Jeff Burroughs Texas Rangers OF Steve Garvey Los Angeles Dodgers* 1B
1975 Fred Lynn Boston Red Sox* OF Joe Morgan Cincinnati Reds* 2B
1976 Thurman Munson New York Yankees* C Joe Morgan (2) Cincinnati Reds* 2B
1977 Rod Carew Minnesota Twins 1B George Foster Cincinnati Reds OF
1978 Jim Rice Boston Red Sox OF Dave Parker Pittsburgh Pirates OF
1979 Don Baylor California Angels LF/DH Keith Hernandez St. Louis Cardinals 1B
Willie Stargell Pittsburgh Pirates* 1B
1980 George Brett Kansas City Royals* 3B Mike Schmidt†§ Philadelphia Phillies* 3B
1981 Rollie Fingers Milwaukee Brewers RHP Mike Schmidt (2) Philadelphia Phillies 3B
1982 Robin Yount Milwaukee Brewers* SS Dale Murphy Atlanta Braves OF
1983 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles* SS Dale Murphy (2) Atlanta Braves OF
1984 Willie Hernández Detroit Tigers* LHP Ryne Sandberg Chicago Cubs 2B
1985 Don Mattingly New York Yankees 1B Willie McGee St. Louis Cardinals* OF
1986 Roger Clemens Boston Red Sox* RHP Mike Schmidt (3) Philadelphia Phillies 3B
1987 George Bell Toronto Blue Jays OF Andre Dawson Chicago Cubs OF
1988 Jose Canseco§ Oakland Athletics* OF Kirk Gibson Los Angeles Dodgers* OF
1989 Robin Yount (2) Milwaukee Brewers OF Kevin Mitchell San Francisco Giants* OF
1990 Rickey Henderson Oakland Athletics* OF Barry Bonds Pittsburgh Pirates OF
1991 Cal Ripken Jr. (2) Baltimore Orioles SS Terry Pendleton Atlanta Braves* 3B
1992 Dennis Eckersley Oakland Athletics RHP Barry Bonds (2) Pittsburgh Pirates OF
1993 Frank Thomas†§ Chicago White Sox 1B Barry Bonds (3) San Francisco Giants OF
1994 Frank Thomas (2) Chicago White Sox 1B Jeff Bagwell†§ Houston Astros 1B
1995 Mo Vaughn Boston Red Sox 1B Barry Larkin Cincinnati Reds SS
1996 Juan González Texas Rangers OF Ken Caminiti§ San Diego Padres 3B
1997 Ken Griffey Jr.†§ Seattle Mariners OF Larry Walker Colorado Rockies OF
1998 Juan González (2) Texas Rangers OF Sammy Sosa Chicago Cubs OF
1999 Iván Rodríguez Texas Rangers C Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves* 3B
2000 Jason Giambi Oakland Athletics 1B Jeff Kent San Francisco Giants 2B
2001 Ichiro Suzuki Seattle Mariners OF Barry Bonds (4) San Francisco Giants OF
2002 Miguel Tejada Oakland Athletics SS Barry Bonds§ (5) San Francisco Giants* OF
2003 Alex Rodriguez Texas Rangers SS Barry Bonds (6) San Francisco Giants OF
2004 Vladimir Guerrero Anaheim Angels OF Barry Bonds (7) San Francisco Giants OF
2005 Alex Rodriguez (2) New York Yankees 3B Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals 1B
2006 Justin Morneau Minnesota Twins 1B Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies 1B
2007 Alex Rodriguez (3) New York Yankees 3B Jimmy Rollins Philadelphia Phillies SS
2008 Dustin Pedroia Boston Red Sox 2B Albert Pujols (2) St. Louis Cardinals 1B
2009 Joe Mauer Minnesota Twins C Albert Pujols (3) St. Louis Cardinals 1B
2010 Josh Hamilton Texas Rangers* OF Joey Votto^ Cincinnati Reds 1B
2011 Justin Verlander^ Detroit Tigers RHP Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers OF
2012 Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers* 3B Buster Posey San Francisco Giants* C
2013 Miguel Cabrera (2) Detroit Tigers 3B Andrew McCutchen^ Pittsburgh Pirates OF
2014 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels OF Clayton Kershaw^ Los Angeles Dodgers LHP
2015 Josh Donaldson Toronto Blue Jays 3B Bryce Harper Washington Nationals OF
2016 Mike Trout^ (2) Los Angeles Angels OF Kris Bryant^ Chicago Cubs* 3B/OF
2017 José Altuve^ Houston Astros* 2B Giancarlo Stanton^ Miami Marlins OF
2018 Mookie Betts^ Boston Red Sox* OF Christian Yelich^ Milwaukee Brewers OF
2019 Mike Trout^ (3) Los Angeles Angels OF Cody Bellinger^ Los Angeles Dodgers OF
2020 José Abreu^ Chicago White Sox 1B Freddie Freeman^ Atlanta Braves 1B
2021 Shohei Ohtani Los Angeles Angels RHP/DH Bryce Harper^ (2) Philadelphia Phillies OF
2022 Aaron Judge^ New York Yankees OF Paul Goldschmidt^ St. Louis Cardinals 1B
2023 Shohei Ohtani(2) Los Angeles Angels RHP/DH Ronald Acuña Jr. Atlanta Braves OF

Wins by team

Teams Awards Years
New York Yankees 23 1923, 1927, 1936, 1939, 1941–1943, 1947, 1950, 1951, 1954–1957, 1960–1963, 1976, 1985, 2005, 2007, 2022
St. Louis Cardinals 21 1925, 1926, 1928, 1931, 1934, 1937, 1942–1944, 1946, 1948, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1971, 1979, 1985, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2022
New York/San Francisco Giants 14 1912, 1933, 1936, 1954, 1965, 1969, 1989, 1993, 2000–2004, 2012
Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers 1913, 1924, 1941, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1962, 1963, 1974, 1988, 2014, 2019
Philadelphia/Oakland Athletics 13 1914, 1928, 1931–1933, 1952, 1971, 1973, 1988, 1990, 1992, 2000, 2002
Cincinnati Reds 12 1938–1940, 1961, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975–1977, 1995, 2010
Detroit Tigers 1911, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1940, 1944, 1945, 1968, 1984, 2011–2013
Boston Red Sox 1912, 1938, 1946, 1949, 1958, 1967, 1975, 1978, 1986, 1995, 2008, 2018
Chicago Cubs 11 1911, 1929, 1935, 1945, 1952, 1958, 1959, 1984, 1987, 1998, 2016
Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves 9 1914, 1947, 1957, 1982, 1983, 1991, 1999, 2020, 2023
Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins 8 1913, 1924, 1925, 1965, 1969, 1977, 2006, 2009
Pittsburgh Pirates 1927, 1960, 1966, 1978, 1979, 1990, 1992, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies 1932, 1950, 1980, 1981, 1986, 2006, 2007, 2021
California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels 7 1979, 2004, 2014, 2016, 2019, 2021, 2023
Baltimore Orioles/St. Louis Browns 6 1922, 1964, 1966, 1970, 1983, 1991
Texas Rangers 1974, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2010
Milwaukee Brewers 5 1981, 1982, 1989, 2011, 2018
Chicago White Sox 1959, 1972, 1993, 1994, 2020
Cleveland Indians / Guardians 3 1926, 1948, 1953
Seattle Mariners 2 1997, 2001
Toronto Blue Jays 1987, 2015
Houston Astros 1994, 2017
Kansas City Royals 1 1980
San Diego Padres 1996
Colorado Rockies 1997
Washington Nationals 2015
Miami Marlins 2017
Arizona Diamondbacks 0 none
New York Mets none
Tampa Bay Rays none

See also


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