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.
- Eddie Collins, 1914: 2 homers, 85 RBI
- Mickey Cochrane, 1928: 10 homers, 57 RBI
- Lefty Grove, 1931: 31-4 record, 2.06 ERA
- Jimmie Foxx, 1932, 1933: 48-plus homers, 160-plus RBI in each season
- Bobby Shantz, 1952: 24-7 record, 2.48 ERA
- Vida Blue, 1971: 24-8 record, 1.82 ERA
- Reggie Jackson, 1973: 32 homers, 117 RBI
- Jose Canseco, 1988: 42 homers, 124 RBI
- Rickey Henderson, 1990: 28 homers, 61 RBI
- Dennis Eckersley, 1992: 7-1 record, 1.91 ERA, 51 saves
- Jason Giambi, 2000: 43 homers, 137 RBI
- Miguel Tejada, 2002: 34 homers, 131 RBI
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.
- Johnny Evers, 1914: 1 home run, 40 RBI
- Hank Aaron, 1957: 44 homers, 132 RBI
- Dale Murphy, 1982, 1983: two seasons of 36 homers and 109-plus RBI
- Terry Pendleton, 1991: 22 homers, 86 RBI
- Chipper Jones, 1999: 45 homers, 110 RBI
- Freddie Freeman, 2020: 13 homers, 53 RBI (in a 60-game season)
- Ronald Acuña Jr., 2023: 41 homers, 106 RBI, 73 steals
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.
- Rollie Fingers, 1981: 6-3 record, 1.04 ERA, and 28 saves
- Robin Yount, 1982, 1989: two seasons of 20-plus homers and 100-plus RBI
- Ryan Braun, 2011: 33 homers, 111 RBI
- Christian Yelich, 2018: 36 homers, 110 RBI
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.
- Frankie Frisch, 1931: 4 homers, 82 RBI
- Dizzy Dean, 1934: 30-7 record, 2.66 ERA
- Joe Medwick, 1937: 31 homers, 154 RBI
- Mort Cooper, 1942: 22-7 record, 1.78 ERA
- Stan Musial, 1943, 1946, 1948: three seasons of 13-plus homers and 81-plus RBI
- Marty Marion, 1944: 6 homers, 63 RBI
- Ken Boyer, 1964: 24 homers, 119 RBI
- Orlando Cepeda, 1967: 25 homers, 111 RBI
- Bob Gibson, 1968: 22-9 record, 1.12 ERA
- Joe Torre, 1971: 24 homers, 137 RBI
- Keith Hernandez, 1979: 11 homers, 105 RBI
- Willie McGee, 1985: 10 homers, 82 RBI
- Albert Pujols: 2005, 2008, 2009: 3 years of 37-plus homers, 116-plus RBI
- Paul Goldschmidt, 2022: 35 homers, 115 RBI
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.
- Frank Schulte, 1911: 21 homers, 107 RBI
- Rogers Hornsby, 1929: 39 homers, 149 RBI
- Gabby Hartnett, 1935: 13 homers, 91 RBI
- Phil Cavarretta, 1945: 6 homers, 97 RBI
- Hank Sauer, 1952: 37 homers, 121 RBI
- Ernie Banks, 1958, 1959: two years of 45-plus homers, 129-plus RBI
- Ryne Sandberg, 1984: 19 homers, 84 RBI
- Andre Dawson, 1987: 49 homers, 137 RBI
- Sammy Sosa, 1998: 66 homers, 158 RBI
- Kris Bryant, 2016: 39 homers, 102 RBI
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.
- Jake Daubert, 1913: 2 homers, 52 RBI
- Dazzy Vance, 1924: 28-6 record, 2.16 ERA
- Dolph Camilli, 1941: 34 homers, 120 RBI
- Jackie Robinson, 1949: 16 homers, 124 RBI
- Roy Campanella, 1951, 1953, 1955: three seasons of 30-plus homers, 100-plus RBI
- Don Newcombe, 1956: 27-7 record, 3.06 ERA
- Maury Wills, 1962: 6 homers, 48 RBI (and 104 steals!)
- Sandy Koufax, 1963: 25-5 record, 1.88 ERA
- Steve Garvey, 1974: 21 homers, 111 RBI
- Kirk Gibson, 1988: 25 homers, 76 RBI
- Clayton Kershaw, 2014: 21-3 record, 1.77 ERA
- Cody Bellinger, 2019: 47 homers, 115 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.
- Larry Doyle, 1912: 10 homers, 91 RBI
- Bill Terry, 1930: 23 homers, 129 RBI
- Carl Hubbell, 1933, 1936: two 20-win seasons with two sub-3.00 ERAs
- Willie Mays, 1954, 1965: two seasons of 40-plus homers, 110-plus RBI
- Willie McCovey, 1969: 45 homers, 126 RBI
- Kevin Mitchell, 1989: 47 homers, 125 RBI
- Barry Bonds: 1993, 2001-04: 5 seasons of 40-plus homers, 90-plus RBI
- Jeff Kent, 2000: 33 homers, 125 RBI
- Buster Posey, 2012: 24 homers, 103 RBI
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.
- George Burns, 1926: 4 homers, 115 RBI
- Lou Boudreau, 1948: 18 homers, 106 RBI
- Al Rosen, 1953: 43 homers, 145 RBI
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.
- Ken Griffey Jr., 1997: 56 homers, 147 RBI
- Ichiro Suzuki, 2001: 8 homers, 69 RBI (with 242 hits and 56 steals!)
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.
- Giancarlo Stanton, 2017: 59 homers, 132 RBI
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.
- Bryce Harper, 2015: 42 homers, 99 RBI
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.
- Brooks Robinson, 1964: 28 homers, 118 RBI
- Frank Robinson, 1966: 49 homers, 122 RBI
- Boog Powell, 1970: 35 homers, 114 RBI
- Cal Rikpen Jr., 1983, 1991: two seasons of 27-plus homers, 100-plus RBI
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.
- Ken Caminiti, 1996: 40 homers, 130 RBI
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.
- Chuck Klein, 1932: 38 homers, 137 RBI
- Jim Konstanty, 1950: 16-7 record, 2.66 ERA, 22 saves
- Mike Schmidt, 1980-81, 1986: three seasons of 30-plus homers, 90-plus RBI
- Ryan Howard, 2006:
- Jimmy Rollins, 2007:
- Bryce Harper, 2021:
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.
- Paul Waner, 1927: 9 homers, 131 RBI
- Dick Groat, 1960: 2 homers, 50 RBI (and a .325 average)
- Roberto Clemente, 1966: 29 homers, 119 RBI
- Dave Parker, 1978: 30 homers, 117 RBI
- Willie Stargell, 1979: 32 homers, 82 RBI
- Barry Bonds, 1990, 1992: two seasons of 30-plus homers, 100-plus RBI
- Andrew McCutchen, 2013: 21 homers, 84 RBI
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.
- Jeff Burroughs, 1974: 25 homers, 118 RBI
- Juan Gonzalez, 1996, 1998: two seasons of 40-plus homers, 140-plus RBI
- Ivan Rodriguez, 1999: 35 homers, 113 RBI
- Alex Rodriguez, 2003: 47 homers, 118 RBI
- Josh Hamilton, 2010: 32 homers, 100 RBI
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.
- Ernie Lombardi, 1938: 19 homers, 95 RBI
- Buck Walters, 1939: 27-11 record, 2.29 ERA
- Frank McCormick, 1940: 19 homers, 127 RBI
- Johnny Bench, 1970, 1972: two seasons of 40-plus homers, 125-plus RBI
- Pete Rose, 1973: 5 homers, 64 RBI (and 230 hits)
- Joe Morgan, 1975-76: two seasons of 17-plus homers, 94-plus RBI
- George Foster, 1977: 52 homers, 149 RBI
- Barry Larkin, 1995: 15 homers, 66 RBI
- Joey Votto, 2010: 37 homers, 113 RBI
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.
- Tris Speaker, 1912: 10 homers, 90 RBI
- Jimmie Foxx, 1938: 50 homers, 175 RBI
- Ted Williams, 1946, 1949: two seasons of 38-plus homers, 123-plus RBI
- Jackie Jensen, 1958: 35 homers, 122 RBI
- Carl Yastrzemski, 1967: 44 homers, 121 RBI
- Fred Lynn, 1975: 21 homers, 105 RBI
- Roger Clemens, 1986: 24-4 record, 2.48 ERA
- Mo Vaughn, 1995: 39 homers, 126 RBI
- Dustin Pedroia, 2008: 17 homers, 83 RBI
- Mookie Betts, 2018: 32 homers, 80 RBI
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.
- Larry Walker, 1997: 49 homers, 130 RBI
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.
- Ty Cobb, 1911: 8 homers, 127 RBI
- Mickey Cochrane, 1934: 2 homers, 75 RBI
- Charlie Gehringer, 1937: 14 homers, 96 RBI
- Hank Greenberg, 1940: 41 homers, 150 RBI
- Hal Newhouser, 1944-45: two seasons of 25-plus wins and sub-2.25 ERAs
- Denny McLain, 1968: 31-6 record, 1.96 ERA
- Willie Hernandez, 1984: 9-3 record, 1.92 ERA, 32 saves
- Justin Verlander, 2011: 24-5 record, 2.40 ERA
- Miguel Cabrera, 2012-13: two seasons of 44 homers and 130-plus RBI
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.
- Zoilo Versalles, 1965: 19 homers, 77 RBI
- Harmon Killebrew, 1969: 49 homers, 140 RBI
- Rod Carew, 1977: 14 homers, 100 RBI
- Justin Morneau, 2006: 34 homers, 130 RBI
- Joe Mauer, 2009: 28 homers, 96 RBI
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).
- Nellie Fox, 1959: 2 homers, 70 RBI
- Dick Allen, 1972: 37 homers, 113 RBI
- Frank Thomas, 1993-94: two seasons of 38-plus homers, 100-plus RBI
- Jose Abreu, 2020: 19 homers, 60 RBI (in a 60-game season)
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.
- Babe Ruth, 1923: 41 homers, 130 RBI
- Lou Gehrig, 1927, 1936: two seasons of 47-plus homers, 150-plus RBI
- Joe DiMaggio, 1939, 1941, 1947: two seasons of 30 homers, 125-plus RBI
- Joe Gordon, 1942: 18 homers, 103 RBI
- Spud Chandler, 1943: 20-4 record, 1.64 ERA
- Phil Rizzuto, 1950: 7 homers, 66 RBI
- Yogi Berra, 1951, 1954-55: three seasons of 22-plus homers, 88-plus RBI
- Mickey Mantle, 1956-57, 1962: three seasons of 30-plus homers, 89-plus RBI
- Roger Maris, 1960-61: two seasons of 39-plus homers, 112 RBI
- Elston Howard, 1963: 28 homers, 85 RBI
- Thurman Munson, 1976: 17 homers, 105 RBI
- Don Mattingly, 1985: 35 homers, 145 RBI
- Alex Rodriguez, 2005, 2007: two seasons of 48-plus homers, 130-plus RBi
- Aaron Judge, 2022: 62 homers, 131 RBI
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