Monday, November 21, 2011

No Tigers Position Player has Won MVP Since 1940

There has been much talk about the Tigers not having an MVP winner since 1984 when Guillermo Hernandez won the award as a reliever on their last championship team.  The feeling is that Tigers ace Justin Verlander has a good shot at winning the MVP and he would be in select company.  That would be a rare feat as no pitcher has won the AL MVP since Dennis Eckersley of the Athletics in 1992.  Moreover, no starting pitcher has taken home the honor since Red Sox right-hander Roger Clemens in 1986.

What would be even more rare though would be a Tigers position player winning the prize.  The last one to do so was Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg in 1940.  While most of the talk has centered around Verlander, first baseman Miguel Cabrera also has an outside shot at the award.  I don't think he'll win, but it's hard to ignore a batter who led the league in batting average, on base percentage and times on base.  Cabrera also finished second in OPS ans slugging and third in total bases. 

If either Verlander or Cabrera is the MVP, he would be the tenth Tiger to win the award. The others are listed below:

1911 Ty Cobb
1934 Mickey Cochrane
1935 Hank Greenberg
1937 Charlie Gehringer
1940 Hank Greenberg
1944 Hal Newhouser
1945 Hal Newhouser
1968 Denny McLain
1984 Willie Hernandez

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