Major League Baseball has seen some amazing performances by star players, but for some reason they fail to win the coveted MVP award. Numbers don’t lie but those who award the MVP may tend to ignore the numbers. The MVP award should be based on a player’s performance and not solely on the team’s performance as a whole. Even the greatest players from the past have been rejected.
1. Derek Jeter – New York Yankees 1996
In 2006, Derek Jeter shined for the Yankees. Jeter finished the season with 14 home runs, 97 RBI, 34 steals, scored 118 runs and a hitting average of .343. Jeter fell to Minnesota Twins star first baseman Justin Morneau who had lackluster numbers compared to Jeter. Morneau had an average of .321, hit 34 home runs and score 130 runs in the 2006 season. Derek Jeter has deserved multiple MVP titles but is always been rejected each time he came up for a vote.
2. Don Mattingly – New York Yankees 1986
Don Mattingly was a star despite never winning a World Series with the New York Yankees. Mattingly hit with great power and average, turned him into one of the must watch players of the 80s. In 1985, Mattingly won the AL MVP Award, after accumulating a .324 batting average and hitting 35 home runs. His numbers continued to grow as he finished the 1986 season with a .352 average and led the majors with 238 hits. Despite is power numbers, Mattingly lost the MVP title to Red Sox star pitcher Roger Clemens, who posted a 24-4 and 2.48 ERA record that year.
3. Reggie Jackson – Oakland Athletics 1974
Reggie Jackson helped lead the Oakland Athletics to three consecutive World Series titles form 1972 to 1974. Jackson won the AL MVP Award in 1973 with a 2.93 average, 32 home runs and 117 RBI’s. Jackson made his case against for an MVP title in 1974, when he ended the season with a .289 average, 29 home runs, 93 RBI’s and 25 steals. The 1974 MVP title would end up going to Jeff Burroughs, who had lackluster numbers compared to Jackson.
4. Willie Mays – San Francisco Giants 1960
Willie Mays is one of America’s greatest outfielders of all time. Willie Mays outshined the league in 1960 end the season with a .319 average, 29 home runs, 103 RBI’s and 25 steals. Mays and his stellar resume was passed over for Pirates shortstop Dick Groat, whose team won the World Series that year. Mays was a strong player because he could excel on the field and behind the plate.
5. Alex Rodriguez – Seattle Mariners 1996
Alex Rodriguez began his career in 1996 with the Mariners as the team’s starting shortstop. 1996 was an amazing year for A-Rod as he won the AL batting title with a record of .358, 36 home runs and 123 RBI’s. Alex Rodriguez was rejected by MVP voters because his team missed the playoffs. Rodriguez’s numbers show him worthy of being the 1996 MVP despite his team’s failings.