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Award Redo: 1987 A.L. MVP

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Okay I've redone all the 80's MVPs but this was one that I kind of have been wanting to do an entry for. The main reason is because 1987 was the year that my favorite player of all-time Mark McGwire burst on to the scene by completely obliterating the rookie homerun record with 49 homeruns. It's really one of those records that it's hard to imagine it ever being broken as Mike Piazza's 35 in 1993 is the most by a rookie since. In the Summer of '87 everyone was going out of their way to buy up as many of McGwire's Olympic card from the 1985 Topps set as they could. Now I know McGwire wasn't the MVP but I had always had it my head that he had a better year than the winner of the MVP that year.

 

The writer's pick for A.L. MVP was George Bell as he won it in a tight race over Alan Trammell, receiving 16 first place votes to Trammell's 12. Now when it comes to awards voting most writers submit their ballots before the season ends and that could have made a difference here. After dropping three out of four in Toronto on the next to last weekend of the season the Tigers sat two and a half games out of first place behind the Blue Jays. It's quite possible that series won the MVP for Bell over Trammell as Bell played a big role in the series win going 8 for 18. But the in the final weekend of the season the Tigers would sweep the Jays in Detroit to take the A.L. East title. Who knows how many writer's submitted their ballots right after the series in Toronto? Also if Trammell had won the MVP in '87 maybe he'd get a little more support in the Hall of Fame voting. I've always had the Shiny Object Theory when it comes to HOF voting where writer's will almost always give more support to a player who won a major award in their career than someone who didn't. Just look at Bruce Sutter (Cy Young in 1979) being elected to the HOF this year instead of Goose Gossage (never won a Cy Young).

 

Actual Results

 

1) George Bell 2) Alan Trammell 3) Kirby Puckett 4) Dwight Evans 5) Paul Molitor 6) Mark McGwire 7) Don Mattingly 8) Tony Fernandez 9) Wade Boggs 10) Gary Gaetti 11) Jeff Reardon 12) Darrell Evans 13t) Doyle Alexander 13t) Tom Henke 13t) Wally Joyner 16) Kent Hrbek 17) Danny Tartabull 18) Robin Yount 19) Roger Clemens 20t) Jack Morris 20t) Kevin Seitzer 20t) Ruben Sierra 23) Jose Canseco 24) Matt Nokes

 

#10

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.309/.390/.541, 123 RC, 142 OPS+, .318 EQA, 54.4 VORP, 24 Win Shares

 

#9

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.305/.417/.569, 129 RC, 156 OPS+, .332 EQA, 57.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares

 

#8

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.327/.378/.559, 122 RC, 146 OPS+, .319 EQA, 50.4 VORP, 27 Win Shares

 

#7

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.332/.367/.534, 121 RC, 132 OPS+, .304 EQA, 55.1 VORP, 29 Win Shares

 

#6

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.308/.352/.605, 129 RC, 146 OPS+, .318 EQA, 60.6 VORP, 26 Win Shares

 

#5

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154 ERA+, 3.09 K/BB, 1.18 WHIP, 92.8 VORP, 28 Win Shares

 

#4

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.289/.370/.618, 127 RC, 164 OPS+, .335 EQA, 60.7 VORP, 30 Win Shares

 

#3

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.353/.438/.566, 115 RC, 161 OPS+, .344 EQA, 74.8 VORP, 29 Win Shares

 

#2

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.363/.461/.588, 151 RC, 173 OPS+, .358 EQA, 90.1 VORP, 32 Win Shares

 

#1

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.343/.402/.551, 133 RC, 155 OPS+, .334 EQA, 96.6 VORP, 35 Win Shares

 

So Bell wasn't a terrible choice but not a particularly good one either. Boggs plays bride's maid again in my redos just like he did with the 1986 one. What happened with the Red Sox in '87? Defending A.L. Champs and three of the Top 10 players in the league on their team yet they finish six games under .500. Sounds like a "Where'd They Go?" team.

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I want to say that's part of some set of cards that they released with Expos and Jays players on it like 12 or 13 years ago. I remember getting some when I went to a pre-season game between them in Montreal when I was younger, but I don't remember what they look like, though I'm pretty sure they were drawings of the players like that one. The cards are probably stuffed in my closet somewhere, so it'd be tough to find them.

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Boston's bullpen was awful in 1987. Bob Stanley had been moved to the rotation, while new closer Wes Gardner posted a 5.42 ERA.

 

Oh yeah, John Marzano was their backup catcher, garnering the .283 OBP that gave him the credentials to critique the Phillies on Comcast.

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