PUJOLS WINS 2ND NL MVP IN 8TH TOP 10 FINISH
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, who had a remarkably productive season despite playing with a painful right elbow that required off-season surgery, was voted the National League Most Valuable Player for the second time in his career in balloting by the BBWAA.
Pujols, who previously won the award in 2005, was the only player whose name appeared on all 32 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city. He was listed first on 18 ballots, second on 10, third on two, fourth on one and seventh on one for a total of 369 points, based on the tabulation system that rewards 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third and on down to one for 10th.
The runner-up in the NL batting race with a .357 average, Pujols drove in 116 runs and hit 37 home runs while also setting career highs in walks (104) and on-base percentage (.462). He struck out only 54 times in 633 plate appearances, and his .653 slugging percentage was more than 50 points higher than any player in the majors.
Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, the major league leader in home runs (46) and RBI (146), had 12 first-place votes and finished second with 308 points. Howard was the 2006 winner. The other two first-place votes went to Howard's teammate, relief pitcher Brad Lidge, who placed eighth overall with 104 points. Lidge was 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA and converted all 41 of his save opportunities.
Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (.285, 37 HR, 106 RBI), the NL winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award last year, was third in the voting with 139 points, one more than Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez, who batted .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI in 53 games after being traded from the Boston Red Sox.
Another player traded from an American League team, Brewers pitcher CC Sabathia, was sixth in the voting with 121 points. The lefthander, acquired from the Cleveland Indians in early July, was 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA and a league-best seven complete games in 17 starts.
Also finishing in the top 10 were Houston Astros first baseman Lance Berkman (.312, 29 HR, 106 RBI, 114 R), New York Mets third baseman David Wright (.302, 33 HR, 124 RBI, 115 R), Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado (.271, 38 HR, 115 RBI) and Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez (.289, 27 HR, 111 RBI). In all, 27 players received votes.
This was the eighth consecutive top-10 finish in MVP voting for Pujols, who in addition to winning in 2005 also finished second in 2002, 2003 and 2006, third in 2004, fourth in 2001 (his rookie year) and ninth in 2007. Pujols, 28, became the 25th multiple winner of the award. Barry Bonds is the all-time record holder with seven MVP Awards. Eight players won three times, and Pujols is the 16th two-time winner. Pujols is also only the fifth former Rookie of the Year Award winner to go on to win two MVPs, joining fellow National Leaguers Willie Mays and Johnny Bench, American Leaguer Cal Ripken Jr. and Frank Robinson, the only player to win the MVP Award in both leagues.
It marked the 16th time a Cardinals player has been honored. St. Louis' total of MVP winners is the most in the NL and second only to the New York Yankees' 20 in the AL. Stan Musial was a three-time MVP for the Cardinals, as an outfielder in 1943 and 1948 and as a first baseman in 1946. Other Cardinals winners were second baseman Frankie Frisch in 1931, pitcher Dizzy Dean in 1934, left fielder Joe Medwick in 1937, pitcher Mort Cooper in 1942, shortstop Marty Marion in 1944, third baseman Ken Boyer in 1964, first baseman Orlando Cepeda in 1967, pitcher Bob Gibson in 1968, third baseman Joe Torre in 1971, first baseman Keith Hernandez (co-winner with the Pittsburgh Pirates' Willie Stargell) in 1979 and center fielder Willie McGee in 1985.
Pujols' victory was the 13th for a first baseman in the NL, a list that includes Musial, Cepeda, Stargell Hernandez and Howard as well as Frank McCormick, Dolph Camilli, Phil Cavarretta, Willie McCovey, Steve Garvey and Jeff Bagwell. The AL MVP Award has been won by a first baseman 15 times. No other position has had as many MVP winners. Right fielders are next with 22, 11 in each league.
|Albert Pujols||St. Louis Cardinals||18||10||2||1||||||1||||||||369|
|Ryan Howard||Philadelphia Phillies||12||8||6||||1||1||2||||||1||308|
|Ryan Braun||Milwaukee Brewers||||2||3||5||5||2||2||3||2||1||139|
|Manny Ramirez||Los Angeles Dodgers||||2||4||7||2||3||2||||1||2||138|
|Lance Berkman||Houston Astros||||2||4||4||1||3||3||4||1||1||126|
|CC Sabathia||Milwaukee Brewers||||4||5||1||2||2||3||||1||2||121|
|David Wright||New York Mets||||2||1||4||3||3||2||5||2||1||115|
|Brad Lidge||Philadelphia Phillies||2||||2||||4||3||2||3||1||2||104|
|Carlos Delgado||New York Mets||||||5||1||2||5||||2||3||||96|
|Aramis Ramirez||Chicago Cubs||||||||2||4||1||1||4||3||1||66|
|Hanley Ramirez||Florida Marlins||||||||2||2||2||1||2||2||5||55|
|Chipper Jones||Atlanta Braves||||1||||||||2||4||1||2||2||44|
|Geovany Soto||Chicago Cubs||||||||3||1||||3||||1||||41|
|Johan Santana||New York Mets||||1||||1||||1||1||||2||1||30|
|Chase Utley||Philadelphia Phillies||||||||1||1||1||1||||3||2||30|
|Ryan Ludwick||St. Louis Cardinals||||||||||||||1||2||3||1||17|
|Brandon Webb||Arizona Diamondbacks||||||||||2||||||||1||||14|
|Adrian Gonzalez||San Diego Padres||||||||||||||1||1||1||4||13|
|Matt Holliday||Colorado Rockies||||||||||||1||1||1||||1||13|
|Prince Fielder||Milwaukee Brewers||||||||||||1||||1||1||1||11|
|Derrek Lee||Chicago Cubs||||||||||1||||1||||||||10|
|Carlos Beltran||New York Mets||||||||||1||||||1||||1||10|
|Tim Lincecum||San Francisco Giants||||||||||||1||||||1||2||9|
|Jose Reyes||New York Mets||||||||||||||||1||||||3|
|Jose Valverde||Houston Astros||||||||||||||||1||||||3|
|Stephen Drew||Arizona Diamondbacks||||||||||||||||||1||||2|
|Nate McClouth||Pittsburgh Pirates||||||||||||||||||||1||1|
Previous winners (*—Unanimous):
2007 JIMMY ROLLINS, Philadelphia Phillies; 2006 RYAN HOWARD, Philadelphia Phillies; 2005 ALBERT PUJOLS, St. Louis Cardinals; 2004 BARRY BONDS, San Francisco Giants; 2003 BARRY BONDS, San Francisco Giants; 2002 *BARRY BONDS, San Francisco Giants; 2001 BARRY BONDS, San Francisco Giants; 2000 JEFF KENT, San Francisco Giants; 1999 CHIPPER JONES, Atlanta Braves; 1998 SAMMY SOSA, Chicago Cubs; 1997 LARRY WALKER, Colorado Rockies; 1996 *KEN CAMINITI, San Diego Padres; 1995 BARRY LARKIN, Cincinanti Reds; 1994 *JEFF BAGWELL, Houston Astros; 1993 BARRY BONDS, San Francisco Giants; 1992 BARRY BONDS, Pittsburgh Pirates; 1991 TERRY PENDLETON, Atlanta Braves; 1990 BARRY BONDS, Pittsburgh Pirates; 1989 KEVIN MITCHELL, San Francisco Giants; 1988 KIRK GIBSON, Los Angeles Dodgers; 1987 ANDRE DAWSON, Chicago Cubs; 1986 MIKE SCHMIDT, Philadelphia Phillies; 1985 WILLIE McGEE, St. Louis Cardinals; 1984 RYNE SANDBERG, Chicago Cubs; 1983 DALE MURPHY, Atlanta Braves; 1982 DALE MURPHY, Atlanta Braves; 1981 MIKE SCHMIDT, Philadelphia Phillies; 1980 *MIKE SCHMIDT, Philadelphia Phillies; 1979 (Tie) KEITH HERNANDEZ, St. Louis Cardinals, and WILLIE STARGELL, Pittsburgh Pirates; 1978 DAVE PARKER, Pittsburgh Pirates; 1977 GEORGE FOSTER, Cincinnati Reds; 1976 JOE MORGAN, Cincinnati Reds; 1975 JOE MORGAN, Cincinnati Reds; 1974 STEVE GARVEY, Los Angeles Dodgers; 1973 PETE ROSE, Cincinnati Reds; 1972 JOHNNY BENCH, Cincinnati Reds; 1971 JOE TORRE, St. Louis Cardinals; 1970 JOHNNY BENCH, Cincinnati Reds; 1969 WILLIE McCOVEY, San Francisco Giants; 1968 BOB GIBSON, St. Louis Cardinals; 1967 *ORLANDO CEPEDA, St. Louis Cardinals; 1966 ROBERTO CLEMENTE, Pittsburgh Pirates; 1965 WILLIE MAYS, San Francisco Giants; 1964 KEN BOYER, St. Louis Cardinals; 1963 SANDY KOUFAX, Los Angeles Dodgers; 1962 MAURY WILLS, Los Angeles Dodgers; 1961 FRANK ROBINSON, Cincinnati Reds; 1960 DICK GROAT, Pittsburgh Pirates; 1959 ERNIE BANKS, Chicago Cubs; 1958 ERNIE BANKS, Chicago Cubs; 1957 HENRY AARON, Milwaukee Braves; 1956 DON NEWCOMBE, Brooklyn Dodgers; 1955 ROY CAMPANELLA, Brooklyn Dodgers; 1954 WILLIE MAYS, New York Giants; 1953 ROY CAMPANELLA, Brooklyn Dodgers; 1952 HANK SAUER, Chicago Cubs; 1951 ROY CAMPANELLA, Brooklyn Dodgers; 1950 JIM KONSTANTY, Philadelphia Phillies; 1949 JACKIE ROBINSON, Brooklyn Dodgers; 1948 STAN MUSIAL, St. Louis Cardinals; 1947 BOB ELLIOT, Boston Braves; 1946 STAN MUSIAL, St. Louis Cardinals; 1945 PHIL CAVARRETTA, Chicago Cubs; 1944 MARTY MARION, St. Louis Cardinals; 1943 STAN MUSIAL, St. Louis Cardinals; 1942 MORT COOPER, St. Louis Cardinals; 1941 DOLPH CAMILLI, Brooklyn Dodgers; 1940 FRANK McCORMICK, Cincinnati Reds; 1939 BUCKY WALTERS, Cincinnati Reds; 1938 ERNIE LOMBARDI, Cincinnati R eds; 1937 JOE MEDWICK, St. Louis Cardinals; 1936 CARL HUBBELL, New York Giants; 1935 GABBY HARTNETT, Chicago Cubs; 1934 DIZZY DEAN, St. Louis Cardinals; 1933 CARL HUBBELL, New York Giants; 1932 CHUCK KLEIN, Philadelphia Phillies; 1931 FRANKIE FRISCH, St. Louis Cardinals