Being labeled as being the most valuable in any aspect of life is a pretty special occurrence. It’s not every day that you or I get an honor like that, and the same goes for professional sports. There have been plenty of players in Major League Baseball that have extraordinary careers and get elected to the Hall of Fame, yet either fail to win an MVP award or possibly just win one. When a player has the honor given to him more than once, then we have a special athlete on our hands.
There have only been 29 players in Major League history that have won multiple league MVP awards, with only 10 of those 29 winning the award three or more times. Barry Bonds is in a club by himself since he won the NL MVP award an astonishing seven times. The three-time winners include: Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, and Mike Schmidt.
Even though I’m from the school of thought that Barry Bonds took performance enhancing drugs during the later part of his career, being named the best player in your respective league for 31% of your entire career is pretty amazing, especially since the last four times he won the award, he did so consecutively.
I can only imagine what it would be like if Bonds accomplished all that he did in his career without using performance enhancing drugs. He is the all-time and single-season home run leader, with 762 and 73 home runs, respectively. He finished with a .298 career average, 1,996 RBI, 514 stolen bases, 2,935 hits, 2,227 runs scored, and 2,558 walks (another record). Along with his seven MVP awards, he holds 12 silver slugger awards, eight gold gloves, and was selected to the All-Star game 14 times.
If I look at these statistics without knowing the name of the player and I was asked whether this player is a Hall of Famer, I would say yes without a hesitation. However, with the PED cloud following him for the rest of his days on this Earth, I’m quite positive that he won’t even come close to getting the necessary 75% vote needed to be inducted into the Hall- and I don’t want him in there.
Being in the Hall of Fame is an honor and those who cheated to get ahead of their competition (McGuire, Sosa, and Clemens also come to mind) don’t deserve to be honored with the best players in the history of the game. It’s too bad because before Bonds started putting up these ridiculous power numbers, I would have considered him a Hall of Famer anyways. Do you think he should be inducted in Cooperstown?
The last question I ask every week is a simple one: can this record be broken? I actually think there is a small chance. I don’t think A-Rod will be winning anymore of these as he’s entering his late-30s and is already showing signs of slowing down. However, Albert Pujols has the opportunity to challenge this record because he’s such an amazing player that he is somehow involved in MVP discussions on a year-in-year-out basis. Who do you think has a chance to challenge this record?