Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 18, 2008
BASEBALL: Great Moments in MVP Voting

In 1967, Elston Howard finished 17th in the AL MVP balloting. The 38-year-old Howard, who appeared in 108 games that season, batted .178/.233/.244 for two teams. Presumably he got named on ballots for his 42 games with the pennant winning Red Sox, for whom he batted .147/.211/.198, scored 9 runs and drove in 11.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:14 PM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Incredible that you found this. I'm curious - how did you come across this artyfact? Just browsing around the MVP leaders over the years or did someone else find it? What were the voters thinking?

Posted by: steve at November 18, 2008 9:16 PM

Trying to get my annual "Path to Cooperstown" column for THT in shape, albeit after an election-induced late head start. The next installment is the catchers.

I assume the voters gave him some sort of credit for intangible contributions to Lonborg or something.

Posted by: The Crank at November 18, 2008 9:41 PM

Crank, what that meant was some writers knew he was on the way out, and they liked him. Especially in 1967, everyone knew that Yaz was the universes' MVP.

More interesting, look at the totals. Kaline finished 4th in the AL (Mickey in his prime might have beaten Yaz that year, but nobody else), and Clemente 3rd. I still think Kaline was better, but it's nice to see the writers at the time had them sort of up there together.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at November 18, 2008 10:10 PM

Crank: I know its off topic, but how did Marty Marion win the 1944 MVP batting .267/.324/.362? I know he was a good defensinve SS, but to win MVP with with those numbers? Do you know the story behind that?

Posted by: wd at November 18, 2008 10:39 PM

1. His defense. As my dad likes to point out, Marion was called "Mr. Shortstop" in the days when Reese, Rizzuto, Boudreau, Appling and Stevens were all in the league.

2. The war. Competition was short.

3. As often happened in the 40s and 50s, the voters didn't feel like giving Musial another trophy.

Posted by: The Crank at November 18, 2008 10:44 PM

Alternative title: "sportswriters recognize Elston Howard's hope and change during the turbulent year of 1967". We know how professional writers set aside logic and standards when it comes to that kind of thing.

Posted by: RW at November 18, 2008 10:45 PM

I remember the '67 season and series, but I guess I never looked to see who was 17th in the voting. QUESTION, CRANK: How many sportswriters would have had to vote for Ellie for him to finish 17th? One?

Posted by: feeblemind at November 19, 2008 7:13 PM
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