You know I really did want to avoid doing three straight entries of the same feature but dammit I'm loving doing this and this blog is basically my own playground to geek out on useless information so might as well keep doing what I love. Besides there's only two of you reading this.
The 1979 N.L. MVP vote had the most unique result ever: a tie. A TIE!?!? What kind of a crap is that? There's no ties in baseball! I was only one year old at the time but I imagine there must have been riots across the country after this result was announced and if there wasn't there should have been. Fuck the hostage crisis, this was the biggest crisis in America in November 1979.
Keith Hernandez and Willie Stargell shared the award in '79. Well I don't know if they shared, I'd assume they made two trophies otherwise that'd be a pretty cheap thing for MLB to do. Now what was odd, beyond the tied result, was Hernandez easily beat Stargell in first place votes, 10 to 4. There's no rule for a tiebreak but clearly more voters felt Hernandez was the MVP. In 3rd place was Dave Winfield who received the same number of first place votes as Stargell although due to the Padres poor performance Winfield probably was left off a few ballots all together as he finished 61 points behind the co-winners.
So for over 26 years we've been stuck with this tie...until today. I will settle the debate. Get out your magic markers kids and get ready to cross out one of those names. Or will you be crossing out both of them?
Actual 1979 results:
1t) Keith Hernandez 1t) Willie Stargell 3) Dave Winfield 4) Larry Parrish 5) Ray Knight 6) Joe Niekro 7) Bruce Sutter 8) Kent Tekulve 9) Dave Concepcion 10) Dave Parker 11) Dave Kingman 12) George Foster 13) Mike Schmidt 14) Steve Garvey 15t) Omar Moreno 15t) Pete Rose 17) Gary Carter 18) Bill Madlock 19) J.R. Richard 20) Phil Niekro 21t) Joe Sambito 21t) Tom Seaver 23) Johnny Bench 24) Andre Dawson 25) Garry Templeton 26) Gary Matthews 27) Dave Collins 28) Bob Horner
.314/.331/.458, 102 RC, 113 OPS+, .276 EQA, 63.4 VORP, 25 Win Shares
.303/.395.449, 106 RC, 135 OPS+, .306 EQA, 55.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares
130 ERA+, 3.19 K/BB, 1.09 WHIP, 68.7 VORP, 23 Win Shares
.265/.372/.464, 100 RC, 128 OPS+, .306 EQA, 68.6 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.331/.418/.430, 113 RC, 130 OPS+, .304 EQA, 54.7 VORP, 27 Win Shares
.307/.357/.551, 107 RC, 146 OPS+, .307 EQA, 59.0 VORP, 28 Win Shares
.310/.380/.526, 123 RC, 141 OPS+, .309 EQA, 58.1 VORP, 31 Win Shares
.253/.386/.564, 119 RC, 154 OPS+, .317 EQA, 64.1 VORP, 33 Win Shares
.308/.395/.558, 131 RC, 165 OPS+, .329 EQA, 68.7 VORP, 33 Win Shares
.344/.417/.513, 132 RC, 152 OPS+, .322 EQA, 71.9 VORP, 29 Win Shares
There you have it, you can sleep well at night now that Keith Hernandez is the sole winner of the 1979 N.L. MVP. Someone please inform the widow Stargell that we must take away his half of the MVP award.
Really Stargell had no business even being considered for the award. As you can see the Pirates best player was Dave Parker, who won the MVP himself the year before but since his numbers weren't as good as the previous year the voters penalized him. Stargell was probably only about the 4th or 5th best player on the team that year. But the reason whey he got so much support was because he was really fucking old and he was the "heart and soul" of the We Are Family Pirates and baseball writers get chubbies thinking of stuff like that.