Jun 15, 2009
Tale of Two MVP Seasons
In 1987 Andre Dawson won the National League MVP award for a Cubs team that finished last. That is the only time in Major League Baseball history that a player on a last place team won the coveted award.
Many baseball experts and fans since 1987 have debated if the award should be given to a player of a non-playoff contending team. The purpose of this post is to give an example of why those that voted for Andre in 1987 did so (he received 80% of the vote).*
In 1987 Andre topped the National League in homeruns (49), RBIs (137), and total bases (353), as well as fifth in hits (178) and third in extra-base hits (75).
But I think the most amazing statistic of 1987 is that Andre accounted for 32% of the runs the Cubs scored that year. The Cubs scored 720 runs, 137 in which Andre batted in and 90 of which he scored himself. Of the 720, 227 involved Andre. 32% is HUGE!**
Here is an illustration of how huge that really is. In comparison, in the 2007-08 NBA season in which Kobe Bryant won MVP he accounted for 31% of the Lakers total points that season(Points + assists). Andre accounted for one more percent of his team's run in his MVP season than Kobe.***
I doubt anyone would argue against Kobe for basketball's hall of fame; it shouldn't be any different for Andre!