Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dueling MVPs...

I should be asleep right now.
Everyone in my home is...

But I had an idle thought:

Many people think the NBA Finals will be the Lakers vs. the Cavaliers this year.

And I am guessing most people also feel that Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will finish 1-2 in the MVP vote.

And I got to thinking... how many times has the World Series been played with the eventual NL MVP on one team and the eventual AL MVP on the other?

And I couldn't just let it go. I am up at this hour in my South Pasadena home with my family sound asleep writing a baseball list. 

And I found out that it is a lot more rare in recent years than you would think!

I am using the Baseball Writers Association MVPs for the applicable years. And for the years before that, I am using the League Awards. (The League Awards began in 1911... which is where we'll start.)

And I found out a few interesting things...

OK. Let's list!


1914 - BOSTON BRAVES (MVP: Johnny Evers) defeats PHILADELPHIA ATHLETICS (MVP: Eddie Collins)

1927 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Lou Gehrig) defeats PITTSBURGH PIRATES (MVP: Paul Waner)

1931 - ST. LOUS CARDINALS (MVP: Frankie Frisch) defeats PHILADELPHIA ATHLETICS (MVP: Lefty Grove)

1934 - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (MVP: Dizzy Dean) defeats DETROIT TIGERS (MVP: Mickey Cochrane)

1935 - DETROIT TIGERS (MVP: Hank Greenberg) defeats CHICAGO CUBS (MVP: Gabby Hartnett)

1936 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Lou Gehrig) defeats NEW YORK GIANTS (MVP: Carl Hubbell)

1939 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Joe DiMaggio) defeats CINCINNATI REDS (MVP: Bucky Walters)

1940 - CINCINNATI REDS (MVP: Frank McCormick) defeats DETROIT TIGERS (MVP: Hank Greenberg)

1941 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Joe DiMaggio) defeats BROOKLYN DODGERS (MVP: Dolph Camili)

1942 - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (MVP: Mort Cooper) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Joe Gordon)

1943 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Spud Chandler) defeats ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (MVP: Stan Musial)

1945 - DETROIT TIGERS (MVP: Hal Newhouser) defeats CHICAGO CUBS (MVP: Phil Cavaretta)

1946 - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (MVP: Stan Musial) defeats BOSTON RED SOX (MVP: Ted Williams)

1950 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Phil Rizzuto) defeats PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (MVP: Jim Konstanty)

1955 - BROOKLYN DODGERS (MVP: Roy Campanella) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Yogi Berra)

1956 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Mickey Mantle) defeats BROOKLYN DODGERS (MVP: Don Newcombe)

1957 - MILWAUKEE BRAVES (MVP: Hank Aaron) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Mickey Mantle)

1960 - PITTSBURGH PIRATES (MVP: Dick Groat) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Roger Maris)

1961 - NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Roger Maris) defeats CINCINANTI REDS (MVP: Frank Robinson)

1963 - LOS ANGELES DODGERS (MVP: Sandy Koufax) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Elston Howard)

1967 - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (MVP: Orlando Cepeda) defeats BOSTON RED SOX (MVP: Carl Yastrzemski)

1968 - DETROIT TIGERS (MVP: Denny McLain) defeats ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (MVP: Bob Gibson)

1970 - BALTIMORE ORIOLES (MVP: Boog Powell) defeats CINCINNATI REDS (MVP: Johnny Bench)

1975 - CINCINNATI REDS (MVP: Joe Morgan) defeats BOSTON RED SOX (MVP: Fred Lynn)

1976 - CINCINNATI REDS (MVP: Joe Morgan) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Thurman Munson)

1980 - PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (MVP: Mike Schmidt) defeats KANSAS CITY ROYALS (MVP: George Brett)

1988 - LOS ANGELES DODGERS (MVP: Kirk Gibson) defeats OAKLAND A'S (MVP: Jose Canseco)

I didn't get bored and stop. That's it!

It used to happen all of the time. I guess the voters for the award has always leaned towards the pennant winner and without divisions and rounds of post season play, each League champion would be well represented.

And these days you see the MVP awarded to players who didn't make the post season more and more. Last year Albert Pujols won it while his Cardinals played golf in October.

Since 1976, 7 AL MVPs and 12 NL MVPs were for teams that didn't even win their division. (I am not counting 1994 where there was no post season.)

But since 1977 it's happened two times? Not once in the 1990s or the 2000s?

Wouldn't it have happened by a fluke once or twice?

I wonder how many times Cy Young winners faced off?

Go to bed Sullivan!

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