This past Thursday, Major League Baseball announced that Miguel Cabrera had won the American League Most Valuable Player Award for the second consecutive season. This year’s race, much like last year’s, basically came down to Cabrera and Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who most observers agree were the top two players in the league. I would have voted for Trout, for the record, but Cabrera had a legitimately fantastic season and I take no issue with his winning the award.
In the wake of the announcement, several of the actual MVP voters have published their ballots, most of which had some combination of Trout and Cabrera in the first two spots. Trout slipped to third on a few ballots, mainly due to the presence of league homer champ Chris Davis; I suppose that’s defensible as well. He also got one fourth-place vote, one fifth-place vote and one seventh-place vote.
That lone seventh-place vote has been the cause of much consternation.
One of my favorite features of baseball-reference.com is the Bio section, which breaks major league players and managers down by their places of birth. In the spirit of America’s pastime, I’m using this data to review each U.S. State’s contributions to the big leagues, in order of statehood.
Note that because of the limitations of the database I’m using, only men who actually played or managed in the Major Leagues are listed here. I’d love to include great executives, writers, broadcasters and Negro League players, but I don’t have reliable birthplace information for them.
Without further ado, on to the first 10 states!
Earlier this month, the Baseball Hall of Fame released its Expansion Era ballot, a collection of six players, four managers and two executives who made their mark in baseball from 1973 to the present. The stars of the show, in case you haven’t heard, are the managers. Their names are as follows:
- Tony La Russa
- Bobby Cox
- Joe Torre
- Billy Martin
The first three on that list are absolute no-brainers. La Russa is third on the all-time wins list and has multiple World Series rings. Cox only has the one championship, but he skippered the Braves to 15 straight division titles and won over 2,500 games. Joe Torre has the fewest wins under his belt of the three, but his Yankees won four world titles. Even if you don’t think he should be in for his managing alone, he’s arguably Hall-worthy as a player, and combining the two careers makes him a slam-dunk choice.
The fourth manager is Martin, a fascinating candidate in his own right, though not one I’m terribly qualified to discuss. The executives are longtime Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and MLBPA executive director Marvin Miller, both of whom also have strong support.