MLB MVP Award: Team-By-Team Look at 160 Winners

MLB MVP Award Winners

Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Matt Musico

If you’re an avid player of the Immaculate Grid game, you know that the MLB MVP Award category comes up quite often. With that in mind, I thought it’d be a good idea to create a study guide for this category and add it to all the others I’ve already created.

First, we’ll go into a bit of the mechanics behind the MVP Award and its standing within baseball history before diving into each team’s winners.

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What is MLB’s MVP Award?

MLB hands out two MVP Awards at the end of each season — one to an American League player and one to a National League player. This honor is given to those who are viewed as having the best season in their respective leagues. There is no specific determination on what being the “most valuable” means, so it’s up to voters to determine that themselves.

From 1911 to 1914, writers got together to decide who should earn the Chalmers Award. This was given to whoever was deemed the “most important and useful player to the club and the league”. From 1922 to 1929, the American League handed out a league award to “the baseball player who is of the greatest all-around service to his club”.

The current iteration of MLB’s MVP Awards as we know them has been handed out to deserving players annually since 1931.

Who Votes for the MVP Award?

MLB MVP Awards are voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The writers make their decisions based solely on regular-season performance. We find out which players are the winners from each league after the conclusion of the World Series. The announcements for end-of-season awards typically happen in the first half of November.

Which Player Has Won the Most MVP Awards?

The New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals have captured the most MVP Awards as a team. New York has had a player win it 23 times, while St. Louis has had 21 winners. They’re the only MLB teams with more than 14 winners.

Barry Bonds has earned the honor the most as an individual player. He was named MVP seven times during his career (1990, 1992-93, 2001-04).

MLB MVP Award: Team-By-Team Look at Winners

Angels MVP Winners

It’s only right that Mike Trout has won the most MVP awards in Angels history. As you’ll see below, he never produced a year with fewer than 29 homers or 100 RBI in any of these award-winning campaigns. The 2014 season was when he accumulated his most RBI (111), while his highest homer number came in 2019 (45).

  • Don Baylor, 1979: 36 home runs, 139 RBI
  • Vladimir Guerrero Sr., 2005: 32 homers, 108 RBI
  • Mike Trout, 2014, 2016, 2019: 3 seasons of 29-plus homers and 100-plus RBI
  • Shohei Ohtani, 2021, 2023: two seasons of 44-plus homers and 95-plus RBI (and he pitched pretty well, too)

Astros MVP Winners

The one thing I like to remind people about the 1994 MVP winners is that they produced their numbers in a strike-shortened campaign. So, Jeff Bagwell put together the below numbers in just 110 games played (479 plate appearances).

Athletics MVP Winners

Obviously, I’m highlighting some power numbers for each of the position players who took home an MVP Award. But for Rickey Henderson, it’s worth noting he led the league with 65 steals and 119 runs scored during his 1990 performance.

Blue Jays MVP Winners

George Bell‘s power progression leading up to his 47-homer barrage is interesting. His first full season was in 1984 and he slugged 26 homers. He followed that up with 28 and then 31 dingers before his 1987 performance. Bell never hit more than 25 in a single season throughout the rest of his career.

Braves MVP Winners

It’ll always be crazy to me that Hank Aaron only secured one MVP Award during his Hall of Fame career. However, he did rack up 13 different top-10 finishes across his 23 years in the big leagues.

Brewers MVP Winners

Ryan Braun‘s MVP victory is dampened by the fact that he eventually got tagged with a PED suspension. However, this 2011 season was his first of two straight 30-30 campaigns. I always knew Braun had the power, but I had to get reminded about his speed on the bases.

Cardinals MVP Winners

Of the three MVP seasons from Stan Musial, only one resulted in a 20-homer performance (39 in 1948). But the thing that was constant was his ability to rack up doubles and triples. Musial led the league in both categories in all three of his MVP years. He didn’t finish with fewer than 46 doubles or 18 triples in any campaign.

Cubs MVP Winners

For all the headlines Mark McGwire generated during the Great Home Run Chase of 1998, I think it says a lot that Sammy Sosa beat him out to win the MVP Award. Just a testament to how special of a year he also had.

Diamondbacks MVP Winners

At this point, no Diamondbacks player has brought home an MVP Award. Here are some Paul Goldschmidt highlights, though, since he came close on more than one occasion.

Dodgers MVP Winners

There’s nothing quite like an every-other-year pattern for someone to rack up three MVP Awards, right? That’s what Roy Campanella did for the Dodgers. His best year in the power department came in 1952 when he slugged 41 homers with a league-leading 142 RBI.

Giants MVP Winners

I know Barry Bonds has to deal with the PED conversation for the rest of his days. However, that four-year span between 2001 and 2004 was just ridiculous. Across 573 games, he slashed .349/.559/.809 while averaging 52 homers, 110 RBI, and 122 runs scored per season.

Guardians MVP Winners

Cleveland has had some terrific players put together huge seasons over the years. I was shocked to be reminded that a Cleveland player hasn’t been crowned MVP in more than half a century.

Mariners MVP Winners

If you’re going to have just two MVP winners in your franchise’s history, who better to have on that list than Ken Griffey Jr. and Ichiro Suzuki? Griffey’s 1997 campaign was his first of two straight seasons with exactly 56 homers.

Marlins MVP Winners

The Marlins may only have one MVP Award in franchise history, but of course it had to come from Giancarlo Stanton. He’s also Miami’s single-season and all-time home run record holder. So, having this distinction for now makes a lot of sense.

Mets MVP Winners

The Mets haven’t yet had the pleasure of watching one of their players win an MVP Award. Here are some David Wright highlights because if New York didn’t have a historic collapse, he might’ve finished higher than fourth in the 2007 NL MVP voting.

MLB MVP Award: Team-By-Team Look at Winners

Nationals MVP Winners

I remember Bryce Harper‘s MVP season as kind of like a “Finally!” moment for lots of us. He debuted in 2012 and put together three solid seasons, but this was the legit elite breakout, which he did as a 22-year-old.

Orioles MVP Winners

The best way to make a good first impression with your new team is to immediately win MVP honors. That’s what Frank Robinson did in ’66 with Baltimore. He also became the first player to win an MVP Award in both the American League and National League.

Padres MVP Winners

Ken Caminiti put together a solid 15-year MLB career. But when it comes to the power department, nothing compares to what he did in 1996 for San Diego. He never hit more than 29 homers or collected more than 94 RBI in any other season.

Phillies MVP Winners

Is there anything Mike Schmidt didn’t accomplish in a Phillies uniform? I don’t think so. The Hall of Famer managed to lead the league in both home runs and RBI during all three of his MVP campaigns.

Pirates MVP Winners

Willie Stargell had nine different top-15 finishes in MVP voting before finally winning in his age-39 campaign. That streak included three other top-3 finishes, as well. This wasn’t the only hardware Stargell won in 1979. He was also named the NLCS and World Series MVP that year as Pittsburgh won the Fall Classic.

Rangers MVP Winners

Alex Rodriguez spent just three years in Texas with the Rangers. He finished within the top six of AL MVP voting each year while never producing power numbers lower than what he did in 2003.

Rays MVP Winners

The Rays haven’t yet produced an AL MVP during their existence. So, here are Evan Longoria highlights since he produced three top-10 finishes while he played for Tampa Bay.

Reds MVP Winners

If you want a glimpse of just how good those Big Red Machine teams were in the ’70s, just look at Cincy’s list of MVP winners. Out of 10 years in the decade (1970-79), four players won the award a total of six times.

Red Sox MVP Winners

Ted Williams served in the military for three years between 1943 and 1945. Naturally, all he did when he returned was immediately win his first AL MVP Award. And then he did it again a few years later. Between 1946 and 1949, he never finished with a batting average lower than .342.

Rockies MVP Winners

Larry Walker‘s 1997 season is a performance that will always make my jaw drop. Not only are those 49 homers good for a share of the Rockies’ single-season record, but he added 46 doubles, 33 steals, 143 runs scored, and a .366 average to it all. Just madness.

Royals MVP Winners

George Brett‘s power numbers were solid for his 1980 MVP campaign. But what really stands out is the .390 batting average he produced along the way. Outside of Tony Gwynn in 1994 (.394), it’s the closest we’ve seen someone get to hitting .400 since Ted Williams did it in 1941.

  • Geroge Brett, 1980: 24 homers, 118 RBI

Tigers MVP Winners

For all the sluggers the Tigers have produced over the years, I love the run of Detroit pitchers winning MVP honors. Between Hal Newhouser in 1944 and Justin Verlander in 2011, the Tigers had five straight MVP winners who were hurlers.

Twins MVP Winners

Harmon Killebrew essentially owns the Twins’ single-season home run leaderboard all by himself. He’s obviously the club’s all-time home run leader, as well. But, his 1969 MVP Award had to feel very special after all the close calls he had. Prior to this win, he finished within the top 15 eight different times.

White Sox MVP Winners

Surprisingly enough, Frank Thomas has more MVP Awards (two) than he does single-season home run titles (zero). He hit 41 dingers in 676 plate appearances during the 1993 season. Despite getting nearly 200 fewer plate appearances in a strike-shortened 1994, Thomas nearly matched his total (38 homers).

Yankees MVP Winners

The Yankees have had 14 different MVP winners throughout franchise history, with six of them winning the honor on multiple occasions. The rate at which they won these awards between 1923 and 1963 was pretty unreal. Over that 40-year span, a Yankees player won the MVP Award 18 times.

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