Graph of the Day: 1979 NL MVP Race

*Data from Baseballprojection.com.

In the only tie in MVP history, Keith Hernandez of the Cardinals and Willie Stargell of the Pirates each earned 216 votes. Hernandez received ten first place votes to Stargell's four. Hernandez hit .344 and played Gold Glove defense at 1B, while a 39-year old "Pops" Stargell was perceived as the emotional leader behind the "We Are Family" World Champs. Enough of the BBWAA voters were swayed by these factors to overlook Winfield, who had just a monstrous season. He did enough convincing to place 3rd with four first place votes, however.

Hernandez was obviously far more worthy than Stargell, while Mike Schmidt finished 13th in the voting despite having a 7.4 WAR season, just .2 behind Hernandez.

It would be worth finding out sometime, but I wonder if Stargell wasn't the worst MVP selection in the past 50 years in terms of WAR.

 

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