Today’s Trivia Question

Comments may be down but you can still amuse yourself. Derek Jeter slugged .483 this year and finished second for the MVP Award, leading to the question: how often has a player won the MVP and slugged below .500?
Well, since 1969, it’s been done five six times. The winners are below the fold.
(UPDATE: Added one I missed).

Barry Larkin in 1995 (.492)
Kirk Gibson in 1988(.483)
Steve Garvey in 1974 (.469)
Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 (.457)
Pete Rose in 1973 (.437)
Thurman Munson in 1976 (.432)
These are mostly controversial selections, not least because three of them were OF/1B and none of them really drew a ton of walks. Munson, despite a low OBP, may well have deserved the award in a year when the league lacked a dominant hitter and the best batting year was by Hal McRae as a DH, and Larkin’s best competition was Mike Piazza. But Rose clearly robbed Willie Stargell and may not have deserved the award ahead of teammate Joe Morgan; Garvey was not as valuable to the Dodgers as Jimmie Wynn or Mike Marshall, and the best player in the league was probably Morgan, Mike Schmidt or Johnny Bench; and Ichiro had no business finishing ahead of Giambi and A-Rod, nor even Roberto Alomar or Bret Boone.
UPDATE: I forgot Gibson; hat tip to Ricky West for pointing that one out. Gibson, of course, robbed Darryl Strawberry, who deserved the award in 1988.

2 thoughts on “Today’s Trivia Question”

  1. You almost should include Willie McGee in ’85 who slugged .503 largely on the strength of 18 triples. Never slugged over .434 any other season in his career.

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