Baseball's Most Baffling MVP Ballots Takes on the Most Controversial MVP Votes of All Time

New book corrects the record of baseball's most contentious award

  • Major League Baseball's MVP Award was born from scandal more than 100 years ago – and things haven't gotten much better since.
  • Many selections defy logic — and common sense.
  • Several players have openly wondered if racial bias plays a role in the vote
  • New book offers definitive history of the award through in-depth analysis of the most controversial votes

HOBOKEN, NJ September 25, 2016 — Snubs. Grudges. Conspiracies. Incompetence.

From its colorful and scandalous beginnings more than a century ago, Major League Baseball's Most Valuable Player Award has evolved into the most prestigious — and contentious — single-season honor in the sport. No award means more to the players, the media, or the fans — and as any observer of the game can attest, no other award can claim a voting history so rich in controversy.

Baseball's Most Baffling MVP Ballots, a new book by Jeremy Lehrman, looks at the past, present and future of the MVP Award through the most controversial ballots of all time.

"The MVP is the most fascinating — and maddening — award in professional sports," said Lehrman. "Historically, the honor has been based as much on voter attitudes and prejudices as on player performance. No other major sports award has been marked by such hypocrisy or willful ignorance on the part of the voters. And no other award engenders such passionate and entertaining debate."

Which of the so-called "worst MVPs" can hold up to contemporary statistical analysis? Who cast the single worst vote in MVP history? Who is the most "snubbed" player of all-time? Does racial bias influence the MVP vote?

Who really deserved the award in a given year?

Baseball's Most Baffling MVP Ballots will attempt to answer these questions, right some wrongs, unravel some threads, and look at some very familiar faces in unfamiliar ways.

Baseball's Most Baffling MVP Ballots, published by McFarland & Company, is available now on McFarland's website (, (, and online retailers around the world.

About Jeremy Lehrman

Jeremy Lehrman (@jeremy_lehrman) is the author of "Baseball's Most Baffling MVP Ballots" and the founding editor of Plate Coverage (, a website committed to presenting well-written, well-researched, well-sourced stories that inform and amuse. He has been a professional speechwriter, ghostwriter and copywriter for 20 years. He lives in Hoboken, NJ —"the birthplace of baseball."

About McFarland & Company

McFarland ( is a leading publisher of academic and non-fiction books. It is recognized for its serious works in such popular fields as the pop culture (especially film), sports (especially baseball) and automotive history. The company was founded in the spring of 1979 by Robert McFarland Franklin, and is located in Jefferson, NC.

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