The city of Los Angeles, California stole both 2014 MVP Awards on Thursday. It was just the 12th time in baseball history that two rival teams from the same area swept the MVP Awards.
The last time a sweep occurred was in 2002 when Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants and Miguel Tejada of the Oakland Athletics each took a MVP Award home to their respective sides of the San Francisco Bay.
For Kershaw, who also won the 2014 N.L. Cy Young Award on Wednesday (he’s also won three of the last four N.L. Cy Young Awards), this victory was somewhat controversial as many believe that the MVP Awards should be limited to position players since the Cy Young Award is for the best pitching performance of the season.
Another factor supporting this belief is starting pitchers only work once every five days and relief pitchers often just work an inning or two a game, while position players must bat and field for nine innings on a daily basis.
I am one who subscribes to this way of thinking. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I believe that the MVP Award should go to a position player but every once in a while there are season long pitching performances that are so special that they do warrent the pitcher being named MVP.
John Schlegel of MLB.com writes of how rare this occurance is,
“Kershaw becomes just the 11th pitcher to earn the MVP-Cy Young double and the third Dodgers pitcher to do it. The other pitchers to win MVP and Cy Young in the same year are the Dodgers’ Don Newcombe (1956) and Sandy Koufax (1963), the Cardinals’ Bob Gibson and the Tigers’ Denny McLain (1968), the A’s Vida Blue (1971), the Brewers’ Rollie Fingers (1981), the Tigers’ Willie Hernandez (1984), the Red Sox’s Roger Clemens (1986), the A’s Dennis Eckersley (1992) and, most recently, the Tigers’ Justin Verlander in 2011. Kershaw is the 11th Dodgers player to win it, the first since Kirk Gibson in 1988.”
Kershaw won 18 of the Baseball Writers Association of America’s (BBWAA) first place votes making him the National League’s Most Valuable Player.
On the other side of the freeway there was absolutely no controversy or question surrounding Mike Trout’s election as the Most Valuable Player in the American League.
Trout, who was runner up for the MVP Award in both 2012 and 2013, recieved a unanimous 30 first place votes this time around at the young age of 23. He can put it alongside his 2012 Rookie of the Year Award.
In his first three full seasons (he played in 40 games in 2011) in the majors Trout has hit .311/.403/.561, hit 93 home runs and taken home three Silver Slugger Awards.
Trout is the youngest unanimous winner in baseball history. In his three big league seasons Trout has given the world on of the best starts to a baseball career, probably ever. He didn’t have to wait long as a bridesmaid to Miguel Cabrera (A.L. MVP in 2012 and 2012) to take home the prize all on his own.