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TBT: The Bay Area is rich in MVP tradition

Nov 14, 2013, 5:04 PM PST


The 2013 Most Valuable Player awards were handed out by the Baseball Writers Association of America on Thursday. Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera and Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen took home the honors.

While the baseball world adamantly debates the decisions of the writers (seriously, how can Mike Trout be snubbed two years in a row?), let’s take a trip down Throwback Thursday lane.

Cabrera became the first AL player to win the award in consecutive seasons in almost 20 years. The last AL player to win back-to-back MVP awards was Frank Thomas with the White Sox (1993, 1994). Only 17 players in MLB history have won the award in consecutive years.

While Cabrera’s feat is rare, it’s another reminder just how insane Barry Bonds’ career was.

Bonds won a record seven MVP awards in his career; including a dominating stretch that saw him bring home the award in four consecutive seasons (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004). He was also named NL MVP in 1992 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and in 1993 with the San Francisco Giants.

Coincidentally, Andrew McCutchen, was the first Pirates player to take home the award since Bonds. The trail of history always runs back through the Bay Area somehow.


On this day in 1973, Reggie Jackson won his only MVP award. (AP)

Bonds won his first MVP award in 1990 with the Pirates. That same season, Rickey Henderson won his first and only MVP award with the A’s. Furthermore, on this day in 1973, Reggie Jackson also won his only MVP award as a member of the A’s.

Here’s another strange fact: Cabrera’s 2013 MVP award comes two years after Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander won it. That has happened twice in the Bay Area. Jackson won it two years after teammate and pitcher Vida Blue. Henderson won his two years before A’s closer Dennis Eckersley was named MVP in 1992.

There’s also another link if you want to take it back really far. The first player to ever win back-to-back MVP awards was Jimmie Fox with the Philadelphia Athletics (1932, 1933). It didn’t happen in the Bay Area, but the A’s eventually ended up here.

Finally, Cabrera’s most recent victory means the Detroit Tigers have brought home three consecutive MVP awards. That’s nothing compared to the record five-year MVP stretch the Giants enjoyed between 2000-2004 with MVPs Jeff Kent and Bonds.

Bay Area Most Valuable Players: 

1965: Willie Mays, OF (SF)

1969: Willie McCovey, 1B (SF)

1971: Vida Blue, LHP (Oak)

1973: Reggie Jackson, OF (Oak)

1988: Jose Canseco, OF (Oak)

1989: Kevin Mitchell, OF (SF)

1990: Rickey Henderson, OF (Oak)

1992: Dennis Eckersley, RP (Oak)

1993: Barry Bonds, OF (SF)

2000: Jason Giambi, 1B (Oak) / Jeff Kent, 2B (SF)

2001: Barry Bonds, OF (SF)

2002: Miguel Tejada, SS (Oak) / Barry Bonds, OF (SF)

2003: Barry Bonds, OF (SF)

2004: Barry Bonds, OF (SF)

2012: Buster Posey, C (SF)

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