Friday, November 15, 2013
Introducing Your 2013 MLB Most Valuable Players - Awards Truly Deserved
In recent years, Topps has reserved six cards within Series 1 for the AL and NL award winners that are being announced this week (the 2013 set added two more cards to the subset, honoring the AL and NL Defensive Players of the Year, and then honored all 8 in Series 2). Once again, however, this year's preliminary checklist doesn't specify what numbers are being held for the them. But yesterday, we learned who was named the Most Valuable Players in both the National and American Leagues.
Congratulations to both Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers for being named the National League and American League Most Valuable Players for 2013. Incredible seasons by both players (leading his team to their first postseason berth since in TWO DECADES, and a season that showed no letdown after winning the first batting Triple Crown since 1967) gave the voters enough reason to select these two extraordinary players the award.
What more can be said about Miguel Cabrera. One year after leading the American League in home runs, runs batted in, and batting average, (along with slugging percentage, and OPS), Cabrera continued to strike fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers everywhere. No, he didn't hit the most home runs and rbi's (although 44 and 137 in a year would certainly lead in many other seasons), but he did hit .348 which did lead the AL, and lead in all the offensive percentages (.442/.636/1.078). Tigers players have now won the MVP award for three consecutive seasons, with teammate Justin Verlander winning it in 2011. Cabrera captured 23 of the 30 first place votes, which gave him 385 points in the overall ballot. In second place for the second season in the row was Mike Trout of the Angels (282, 5 first place votes), followed by Chris Davis of the Orioles (232, 1), Josh Donaldson of the Athletics (222, 1), Robinson Cano of the Yankees (150), Evan Longoria of the Rays (103), Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox (99), Adrian Beltre of the Rangers (99), Manny Machado of the Orioles (57), World Series MVP David Ortiz of the Red Sox (47), Jason Kipnis of the Indians (31), Cy Young Award Winner Max Scherzer, another Tigers teammate (25), Adam Jones of the Orioles (9), Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays (7), Greg Holland of the Royals (3), Carlos Santana of the Indians (3), Coco Crisp of the Athletics (3), Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox (3), Torii Hunter of the Tigers (2), Hisashi Iwakuma of the Mariners (2), Koji Uehara of the Red Sox (2), Yu Darvish of the Rangers (1), Felix Hernandez of the Mariners (1), Salvador Perez of the Royals (1), and Shane Victorino of the Red Sox (1).
Andrew McCutchen, the first Pirates player to win the MVP award since Barry Bonds (incidentally, Buster Posey, last year's MVP was the first Giants player since Bonds to be named MVP), led the Pirates to the promised land after 20 years of last place finishes and late season collapses. After securing their first winning season since 1992, the goal of making the playoffs was so close. When it was achieved, it was with the Bucs centerfielder leading the way. Although he did not lead in any of the major hitting categories, (.317, 21 homers, 84 rbi's) the fact that without McCutchen, and all the intangibles he provided, the Pirates would have had another season of "what if." Now it's just a matter of time before they become a consistent contender in the very competitive NL Central. "Cutch" received 28 of the 30 first place votes (409 points), which blew away the competition, including finalists Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks (242), and Yadier Molina of the Cardinals (219, 2 first place votes), Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals (194), Freddie Freeman of the Braves (154), Joey Votto of the Reds (149), Cy Young Winner Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers (146), Hanley Ramirez of the Dodgers (58), Carlos Gomez of the Brewers (43), Jay Bruce of the Reds (30), Craig Kimbrel of the Braves (27), Shin-Soo Choo of the Reds (23), Jayson Werth of the Nationals (20), Andrelton Simmons of the Braves (14), Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers (10), Hunter Pence of the Giants (7), Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies (5), Allen Craig of the Cardinals (4), Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers (4), last year's MVP Buster Posey (3), Adam Wainwright of teh Cardinals (3), Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies (3), Matt Holliday of the Cardinals (2), and Russell Martin of the Pirates (1).
As with the last two sets of awards, here for your viewing pleasure are the 2013 Topps cards of your MVP's. Too bad they didn't make cards for the managers (congratulations to both Terry Francona of the Indians and Clint Hurdle of the Pirates by the way).
With everything all said and done, did your guy win?