Thursday, November 25, 2010

And then there were five

By now you've heard Josh Hamilton won the 2010 A.L. MVP award. Contrary to some bloggers' opinions, I think it was the right choice. I may be biased, but it's my blog so there.

Hamilton's award makes a total of five MVP awards for the Texas Rangers. Let's take a look at the recipients shall we?

In only the Rangers' third year in Texas, Jeff Burroughs won the 1974 MVP Award. Burroughs scored 84 runs, hit 33 doubles and 25 homers and knocked in 118 RBIs while batting .301. He was also at the center of the "10-Cent Beer Night" fiasco in Cleveland. In the 9th inning of a tie ball game, drunken Indians fans poured onto the field and surrounded Burroughs, attempting to take his hat and glove. Players from both teams rushed to help Burroughs and the game was eventually forfeited to Texas.

Juan Gonzalez was a two time MVP winner. In 1996 he scored 89 runs, hit 33 doubles and 47 homers and drove in 144 RBIs while hitting .314. His 1998 numbers are even better. He scored 110 runs, hit 50 doubles and 45 homers and drove in 157 RBIs while hitting .332. I was at the game on July 5, 1998. It was the Rangers' last game before the All-Star break and Juando drove in 4 to give him 101 RBIs at the break. That was astonishing. All the talk was of his chance to break Hack Wilson's single season RBI record of 191. Juan "only" had 56 RBI's after the break, getting nowhere near the record. His 157 RBIs is tied for 27th on the single season record list.

In 1999, the Rangers had their second MVP in a row and third in 4 years. Ivan Rodriguez had a great year, scoring 116 runs, hitting 29 doubles and 35 homers and driving in 113 RBIs while hitting .332. I was fortunate to see Pudge play in person a number of times and you always had to be paying attention because he would throw a laser beam to first or second and pick someone off in a flash.

Now to this year's MVP winner, Josh Hamilton. Despite missing 29 games, Josh put up impressive numbers. He scored 95 runs, hit 40 doubles and 32 homers while driving in 100 and hitting .359. I've heard people say he missed too much time to deserve the MVP, but take a look back at Joe Mauer's stats from his MVP year in 2009.

I wouldn't be shocked to be updating this post in 2011 after Josh wins his second consecutive MVP. Hopefully that post will come on the heels of a post celebrating the Rangers first World Series Championship. That's not such a far fetched notion anymore.