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Out Voted
2004-11-23 23:44
by Mike Carminati

Parts I, II, and III

After taking a look at the worst award vote-getters of all time and thoroughly beating the dead horse into the ground while mixing my metaphors, my next pursuit in award voting eccentricities is to determine those players who were the most unjustly overlooked.

Which players were most overlooked for the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year vote in the years that those awards were handed out? I'm not talking about A-Rod losing to Mo Vaughn or Juan Gonzalez. I mean, who are the guys who received absolutely no support while having great years?

Using Total Win Shares as the criterion, here are the best player years that were totally ignored by the voters. Letís start first with the MVP award (30 WS min.):

NameYrLgWin SharesTot WSRank
Babe Ruth1926AL4545.201
Babe Ruth1928AL4544.901
Babe Ruth1924AL4544.601
Babe Ruth1927AL4544.501
Lou Gehrig1928AL4241.902
Walter Johnson1914AL3837.603
Arky Vaughan1936NL3535.504
Tris Speaker1923AL3535.402
Craig Biggio1996NL3232.406
Dick Allen1968NL3232.304
Jimmy Wynn1968NL3231.905
George Uhle1926AL3231.703
Craig Biggio1992NL3231.707
Bobby Bonds1970NL3231.604
Earle Combs1927AL3131.504
Mel Ott1933NL3131.304
Red Faber1922AL3131.001
Jimmy Wynn1965NL3131.006
Ryan Klesko2002NL3130.825
Goose Goslin1925AL3130.802
Wally Berger1931NL3130.601
Bobby Grich1976AL3130.502
Eddie Mathews1963NL3130.507
Joe Morgan1977NL3030.404
Robin Ventura1992AL3030.304
Jim Bunning1966NL3030.206
Julio Franco1989AL3030.004
Mickey Cochrane1932AL3030.007
Jim Edmonds2001NL3030.008
Orlando Cepeda1963NL3030.009
Sean Casey2004NL3030.0012
Ted Simmons1978NL3029.903
Ken Williams1922AL3029.802
Fernando Vina1998NL3029.807
Gary Sheffield2001NL3029.809
Paul Waner1929NL3029.805
Mitchell Page1977AL3029.604
Tris Speaker1922AL3029.603
Rusty Staub1970NL3029.605

It's not easy being the greatest player to play the game (apologies to Barry Bonds). Ruth's sole MVP award came in 1923, and he did not even receive a vote in four years in which he "led" the league in Win Shares. Rich Lederer reminds me that there was once a rule that barred past MVPs from the award. I'm not sure when that rule was enacted nor when it was reversed, but I would have to expect that Ruth was its main victim.

Below is a list of the players who won the award for the years in which the Win Share leader received no votes:

YrLgNameWin SharesTot WSRank
1926ALGeorge Burns2424.4012
1928ALMickey Cochrane2221.5020
1924ALWalter Johnson2929.403
1927ALLou Gehrig4444.102
1922ALGeorge Sisler2928.805
1931NLFrankie Frisch2121.3017

As for modern players, it seems that Craig Biggio is the new Ruth. At least his lack of votes in 1992 and 1996 was downright Ruthian.

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