The Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) is an annual MLB award given to one best player in the American League and one in the National League.
Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award.
Since 1931, it has been awarded by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).
|League||Major League Baseball|
|Awarded for||Regular season most valuable player of American League and National League|
|Country||United States, Canada|
|Presented by||Baseball Writers’ Association of America|
Until 2020, the winners received the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award, which became the official name of the award in 1944, in honor of the first MLB commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who served from 1920 until his death on November 25, 1944.
Starting in 2020, Landis’ name no longer appeared on the MVP trophy after the BBWAA received complaints from several former MVP winners about the late Commissioner’s role against integration of MLB.
First basemen, with 34 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, Newhouser winning consecutively in 1944 and 1945.
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 this award. 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 Drysdale, 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).
The BBWAA 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.