1967 was an odd year for MVPs. There was a unanimous choice that year, which certainly happens, but I think most baseball fans, if they’re not familiar with irregularities in MVP voting, would assume that Carl Yastrzemski would have earned that distinction with his AL Triple Crown season (alas, some writer chose the Twins’ Cesar Tovar, of all people, leaving Yaz one vote shy of a clean sweep). Instead, the unanimous selection came in the NL in the person of Orlando Cepeda, which some will cite as one of the more egregious examples of the “RBI leader + Pennant winner = MVP” trope. To others, though, this is an example of leadership being provided by an outstanding player in a new and difficult circumstance, justifying his MVP selection and creating a narrative worthy of the award. So let’s step back to 1967 in the NL.
1963 was oddly typical (that may be an oxymoron, but I’m going to let it stand). The Yankees won the AL for the 13th time in 15 years (they’d win the next year, too), so that was no change. A Yankee was named MVP for the 10th time in that 15 year span – so again, nothing new, particularly since Yankees catchers won more MVPs in this stretch than their teammates at other positions. Pythagoras had the Yankees and White Sox two games apart, but the Yanks actually won it by 10 in the win column, with each team missing its expected wins by four, but in opposite directions.
We just finished up our discussion on the 1960 NL MVP, so you’d figure that we’re going to zip ahead a few years, maybe switch leagues. But here’s the thing – the next really interesting election is in the same league, just two years later. Which brings me to our next election: the 1962 National League.
At the end of the COG, a lot of us were talking about a “next” project. Nothing has yet emerged or, more accurately, I haven’t found the time to follow-up some of the suggestions that were made. Thus, I’m delighted to introduce a new series authored by Dr. Doom, whom many of you will know from his frequent contributions as an HHS reader.
So, without further ado, I’ll let Dr. Doom introduce himself, after the jump.