A-ROD WINS AL MVP IN CLOSELY BUNCHED RACE
For release Monday, Nov. 17; do not move on wires before 2 p.m., EST
Texas Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez was named the American League Most Valuable Player in a tightly contested election in which 10 players received first-place votes, one short of the record set in the AL in 1977. There were also 10 players to receive first-place votes in the National League election of 1947.
Rodriguez, 28, who had twice finished second in the balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, became the second player from a team that finished in last place to win the MVP Award, joining 1987 National League winner Andre Dawson of the Chicago Cubs.
Rodriguez, who led the league in home runs (47), runs scored (124) and slugging percentage (.600) while batting .298 with 118 RBI, was the only player to gain mention on all 28 ballots cast by two writers in each league city. He also had the most first-place votes, six, which equaled the lowest since MVP balloting went to the current tabulation system in 1938 of 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third on down to one for 10th. New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra also had six first-place votes when he won the first of his three MVP Awards in 1951.
Rodriguez, the runner-up in 1996 and 2002, finished with 242 points. The runner-up this time was Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado, the AL RBI leader, with 210 points. Delgado (.302, 42 HR, 145 RBI) and Yankees catcher Jorge Posada (.281, 30 HR, 101 RBI), who finished third with 194 points, received five first-place votes apiece.
Outfielder Shannon Stewart (.307, 13 HR, 73 RBI), who divided the season between Toronto and Minnesota, was first on three ballots and ranked fourth with 140 points, 10 more than Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (.288, 31 HR, 101 RBI), who had four first-place votes.
Receiving one first-place vote each: Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez (.325, 37 HR, 104 RBI), who was sixth; Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra (.301, 28 HR, 105 RBI), who was seventh; Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells (.317, 33 HR, 117 RBI), who was eighth; Oakland Athletics shortstop Miguel Tejada (.278, 27 HR, 106 RBI), who was 11th, and Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi (.250, 41 HR, 107 RBI), who was 13th.
Finishing in the top 10 but not receiving first-place votes were Kansas City Royals center fielder Carlos Beltran (.307, 26 HR, 100 RBI), who was ninth, and Seattle Mariners second baseman Bret Boone (.294, 35 HR, 117 RBI), who was 10th. In all, 27 players received votes. Stewart and Ramirez got votes in all 10 places on the ballot.
It marked the second consecutive year, the eighth time in the AL and the 13th time overall that a shortstop was named MVP. Tejada was last year's AL winner over Rodriguez, who also finished second in 1996 by merely three points to the Rangers' Juan Gonzalez.
Rodriguez is the first MVP from a team that did not reach postseason play since Colorado Rockies right fielder Larry Walker in the National League in 1997 and the first in the AL since Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. in 1991. This is the fifth time a Texas player has been honored. Rodriguez joins Gonzalez, who also won in 1998, catcher Ivan Rodriguez in 1999 and right fielder Jeff Burroughs in 1974.
|CARLOS DELGADO||Blue Jays||5||8||3||1||1||2||4||2||1||213|
|DAVID ORTIZ||Red Sox||4||3||2||2||3||1||130|
|MANNY RAMIREZ||Red Sox||1||3||3||1||1||1||2||2||1||1||100|
|NOMAR GARCIAPARRA||Red Sox||1||2||1||6||2||2||1||2||99|
|VERNON WELLS||Blue Jays||1||1||3||1||1||4||3||1||84|
|BILL MUELLER||Red Sox||2||1||2||3||1||45|
|FRANK THOMAS||White Sox||1||1||2||1||1||20|
|CARLOS LEE||White Sox||1||1||1||2||16|
|MAGGLIO ORDONEZ||White Sox||1||1||1||1||2||16|
|PEDRO MARTINEZ||Red Sox||1||1||7|
|ESTEBAN LOAIZA||White Sox||1
|JASON VARITEK||Red Sox||1||4|
|AUBREY HUFF||Devil Rays||1||2||4|
Previous winners (*—Unanimous):
2002 MIGUEL TEJADA, Oakland Athletics; 2001 ICHIRO SUZUKI, Seattle Mariners; 2000 JASON GIAMBI, Oakland Athletics; 1999 IVAN RODRIGUEZ, Texas Rangers; 1998 JUAN GONZALEZ, Texas Rangers; 1997 *KEN GRIFFEY Jr., Seattle Mariners; 1996 JUAN GONZALEZ, Texas Rangers; 1995 MO VAUGHN, Boston Red Sox; 1994 FRANK THOMAS, Chicago White Sox; 1993 *FRANK THOMAS, Chicago White Sox; 1992 DENNIS ECKERSLEY, Oakland Athletics; 1991 CAL RIPKEN Jr., Baltimore Orioles; 1990 RICKEY HENDERSON, Oakland Athletics; 1989 ROBIN YOUNT, Milwaukee Brewers; 1988 *JOSE CANSECO, Oakland Athletics; 1987 GEORGE BELL, Toronto Blue Jays; 1986 ROGER CLEMENS, Boston Red Sox; 1985 DON MATTINGLY, New York Yankees; 1984 GUILLERMO (WILLIE) HERNANDEZ, Detroit Tigers; 1983 CAL RIPKEN Jr., Baltimore Orioles; 1982 ROBIN YOUNT, Milwaukee Brewers; 1981 ROLLIE FINGERS, Milwaukee Brewers; 1980 GEORGE BRETT, Kansas City Royals; 1979 DON BAYLOR, California Angels; 1978 JIM RICE, Boston Red Sox; 1977 ROD CAREW, Minnesota Twins; 1976 THURMAN MUNSON, New York Yankees; 1975 FRED LYNN, Boston Red Sox; 1974 JEFF BURROUGHS, Texas Rangers; 1973 *REGGIE JACKSON, Oakland A's; 1972 DICK ALLEN, Chicago White Sox; 1971 VIDA BLUE, Oakland A's; 1970 BOOG POWELL, Baltimore Orioles; 1969 HARMON KILLEBREW, Minnesota Twins; 1968 *DENNY McLAIN, Detroit Tigers; 1967 CARL YASTRZEMSKI, Boston Red Sox; 1966 *FRANK ROBINSON, Baltimore Orioles; 1965 ZOILO VERSALLES, Minnesota Twins; 1964 BROOKS ROBINSON, Baltimore Orioles; 1963 ELSTON HOWARD, New York Yankees; 1962 MICKEY MANTLE, New York Yankees; 1961 ROGER MARIS, New York Yankees; 1960 ROGER MARIS, New York Yankees; 1959 NELLIE FOX, Chicago White Sox; 1958 JACKIE JENSEN, Boston Red Sox; 1957 MICKEY MANTLE, New York Yankees; 1956 *MICKEY MANTLE, New York Yankees; 1955 YOGI BERRA, New York Yankees; 1954 YOGI BERRA, New York Yankees; 1953 *AL ROSEN, Cleveland Indians; 1952 BOBBY SHANTZ. Philadelphia Athletics; 1951 YOGI BERRA, New York Yankees; 1950 PHIL RIZZUTO, New York Yankees; 1949 TED WILLIAMS, Boston Red Sox; 1948 LOU BOUDREAU, Cleveland Indians; 1947 JOE DiMAGGIO, New York Yankees; 1946 TED WILLIAMS, Boston Red Sox; 1945 HAL NEWHOUSER, Detroit Tigers; 1944 HAL NEWHOUSER, Detroit Tigers; 1943 SPUD CHANDLER, New York Yankees; 1942 JOE GORDON, New York Yankees; 1941 JOE DiMAGGIO, New York Yankees; 1940 HANK GREENBERG, Detroit Tigers; 1939 JOE DiMAGGIO, New York Yankees; 1938 JIMMIE FOXX, Boston Red Sox; 1937 CHARLIE GEHRINGER, Detroit Tigers; 1936 LOU GEHRIG, New York Yankees; 1935 *HANK GREENBERG, Detroit Tigers; 1934 MICKEY COCHRANE, Detroit Tigers; 1933 JIMMIE FOXX, Philadelphia Athletics; 1932 JIMMIE FOXX, Philadelphia Athletics; 1931 LEFTY GROVE, Philadelphia Athletics.