Shohei Otani’s MVP “Voting Pitfalls for Journalists” 43 Years Ago, Simultaneous “Catastrophe” Award | Full Count

Even if you get a lot of first place votes, it doesn’t mean you’ll win the prize.

The AL MVP battle between Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani and Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is entering the latter stages of the season because it’s an uphill battle. MLB’s official website featured a rare case in the past where “two players have only won the award” once since 1938, when the current voting method was adopted. Attention is also drawn to the occurrence of a rare event for the first time in 43 years.

The MVP is determined by a vote of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Thirty voters each nominate 10 candidates to create a ranking from 1 to 10. The first player gets 14 points, the second gets 9 points, the third gets 8 points, and so on, and the 10th gets 1 point. The player with the highest point total at the end will be the winner.

Since 1938, MVP voting in both leagues has ended 14 times in 10 points. In the 2001 American League, Ichiro (Mariners) won with 289 points, while runner-up Jason Giambi (Athletics) was just eight spots with 281 points.

In 1979, Willie Stargell (Pirates) and Keith Hernandez (Cardinals) tied with 216 points each. The MLB official recalled, “The context of this year’s MVP voting is always strange.” While the 39-year-old Stargell was “decent” with 32 homers and 82 RBI, Hernandez had the best batting average in the majors with “7.6.” Hernandez seemed to have the advantage in terms of results.

When I opened the lid, Stargel won the first vote of 10 people, the most. However, four reporters did not make the top 10, while Hernandez was in the top 10 for every reporter. Stargel, who won big points but lost a lot, and Hernandez, who consistently racked up points. “These multiple factors contributed to the disaster of the only tie in MVP voting history,” MLB said.

The MVP is never determined by the number of votes for first place. Attention will focus on whether or not Otani will win the award for the second year in a row.

(Full-Count Writing)


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