Thursday, November 1, 2018

Red Sox Awards History: World Series MVP

I am still coming down from the high of witnessing the World Championship.  It is the fourth time I have seen the Red Sox win it all, and I have to say, it does not get old.  So this post seemed particularly relevant. 

The World Series MVP Award has been handed out since 1955 and typically goes to a player on the winning team (1960 is the only exception so far).  Therefore, there have only been four Red Sox to win the award. 

The Red Sox finally won the World Series for the first time in 86 years when they swept the Cardinals.  It was a completely dominating performance.  No one player really rose above it all (though Keith Foulke probably had a legitimate argument).  Ramirez hit .412/.500/.588 in 20 plate appearances with a home run and four RBIs.  He made a couple of errors in the field though.  

2007 was another flat-out dominating team performance by the Red Sox, this time sweeping the Colorado Rockies.  Again, no one player really stood out that much.  Third-baseman Mike Lowell hit .400/.500/.800 in 18 plate appearances.  He hit a home run and three doubles, driving in four runs and even added a stolen base.  He scored four runs.

This performance though was absolutely dominant.  Ortiz, who had always been a terrific postseason performer, turned in a legendary performance in the 2013 World Series.  The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals 4-2 with Ortiz hitting an insane .688/.760/1.188 with two doubles, two home runs and six RBIs.  He had 11 hits and 8 walks in 25 plate appearances and scored seven runs.

The most recent addition to this list is a player who was just picked up before the trading deadline to provide some power against lefties.  It worked.  I still kind of think David Price should have been the MVP, but Pearce was on another playing field from the last half of Game 4 on.  He ended up hitting .333/.500/1.167 with three home runs, a double, five runs scored, and eight RBIs.  Boston ended up beating the Dodgers 4-1.

As with the ALCS post, I want to pick out the players who would have won the World Series MVP had one been given out or if Boston had won:

Pitching was Boston's primary weapon in the first World Series ever played.  Boston beat Pittsburgh five games to three in a best of nine Series.  Dinneen won three of the games, and lost one.  He threw 35 innings with a 2.06 ERA and struck out 28 while walking eight.  Among his victories was the clinching game.  

No one truly stood out in 1912.  This could have easily gone to Harry Hooper or Smoky Joe Wood, but I picked Speaker because he hit .300/.382/.467 with a double and two triples.  He scored four times and drove in two.  He also stole a base and walked four times.  This was a hard-fought Series the Red Sox won 4-3-1.

This is incredibly close between Lewis and Harry Hooper.  Lewis hit .444/.474/.667 with a double, a home run and five RBIs and scored a run.  Hooper had one fewer hit, but hit a second home run.  The Red Sox outfield in 1915 was one of the greatest of all time.  The Red Sox beat the Phillies 4-1 in the World Series.

I was tempted to go with Babe Ruth here.  Ruth pitched in one game, but it was a very impressive one, throwing 14 innings and giving up just one run.  Shore won two games, including the clincher and had a 1.53 ERA in 17.2 innings.  He struck out nine and walked four.  The Red Sox beat the Brooklyn Robins 4-1, the same percentage they beat the LA Dodgers this year.

1918 - BABE RUTH
So, we will pick Ruth here.  As a pitcher, he was 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA, throwing 17 innings, striking out four and walking seven.  As a hitter, he tripled and drove in two runs in five at-bats.  It was a fairly impressive all-around performance for the superstar.  The Red Sox beat the Cubs 4-2.

Boston lost their first World Series to the Cardinals 4-3.  A lot of the problem was the inability of a lot of the Red Sox stars to live up to their regular seasons.  Doerr was the one exception as he hit a robust .409/.458/.591 with nine hits, including a double and a home run.  He scored once and drove in three runs.  

Yaz did not slow down in the World Series coming off of his Triple Crown season.  It was certainly not his fault Boston lost the Series 4-3 to the Cardinals.  Yaz hit .400/.500/.840 with three home runs and five RBIs.  He scored four times and doubled twice.

Tiant pitched in three games and turned in some gutsy performances.  He was 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA and two complete games.  He threw 25 innings, striking out 12 and walking eight.  1975 was one of the greatest World Series of all time and Tiant was a big part of that.  Boston ended up losing to the Reds 4-3.

Despite Marty Barrett's 13 hits, this award would have gone to Hurst had Boston won Game 6 against the Mets.  The Red Sox lost 4-3 though and I would still give it to Hurst who pitched in three games and was 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA.  He struck out 17 and walked six in 23 innings.

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