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Can a player on the losing team be named World Series MVP?

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2012-04-09 23:29:22
2012-04-09 23:29:22

Yes, but it has only happened once in 1960, when the New York Yankees lost the World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 7 games. The Yankees were heavily favored to beat the Pirates in the WS in 1960, but lost when Bill Mazeroski of the Pirates hit a dramatic game-winning home run in the bottom of the 9th inning of game 7. It was the first and only time that a WS was won by a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th of the 7th game.

When the Yankees won, they won big, but the Pirates won the close games. The Yankees won game 2 by the score of 16-3; game 3 by the score of 10-0; and game 6 by the score of 12-0. In the 3 games the Yankees won, they outscored the Pirates 38-3. The Pirates won game 1 by the score of 6-4; game 4 by the score of 3-2; game 5 by the score of 5-2; and game 7 by the score of 10-9. In the 4 games the Pirates won, they outscored the Yankees 24-17. All told, the Yankees outscored the Pirates in the Series 55-27. The Yankees as a team batted .338 with 10 homers, 4 triples, and 13 doubles; whereas the Pirates batted .256 with 4 homers, no triples, and 11 doubles. That is why a player on the losing team won the World series MVP.

Bobby Richardson of the Yankees won the WS MVP because he had an outstanding Series and none of the Pirate hitters did. Richardson played all 7 games and had 30 at bats. He batted .367 with 11 hits, 8 runs, 2 doubles, 2 triples, a grand slam home run, and an outstanding record 12 RBIs. His 6 RBIs in one game also set a record, that has since been tied only 2 times. His record of 12 RBIs in one WS still stands today.

For that matter, many Yankees hitters had a much better Series than any of the Pirate hitters. Mickey Mantle batted .400 with 3 homers and 11 RBIs, Elston Howard batted .462, and Johnny Blanchard batted .455. For the Pirates, for those with 10 or more At Bats, the best hitters were Smoky Burgess, who batted .333 with no homers and no RBIs; Bill Mazeroski, who batted .320 with 2 homers and 5 RBIs; and Roberto Clemente who batted .310 with no homers and 3 RBIs. As a result, there were no outstanding hitters for the Pirates in the 1960 World Series, even though they won it.

For the Pirates, even though Clemente hit in all 7 games, he had no homers and only 3 RBIs. Hal Smith hit a key three run homer in game 7 to give the Pirates a 9-7 lead, but had only 8 At Bats in the Series and those were his only 3 RBIs. Mazeroski had the Series winning homer, but the WS MVP is based on a player's performance during the entire WS, and not just one game. For the entire WS, 7 Yankees had a higher batting average than Mazeroski, 3 Yankees had as many or more homers than he did, and 4 Yankees had more RBIs than he did.

The two best Pirate pitchers (both of whom faltered in game 7) were Vern Law, who went 2-0 in his other two starts prior to game 7, and Elroy Face who saved all three of Pittsburgh's close wins before game 7, which was the World Series saves record at the time. However, Whitey Ford of the Yankees pitched 2 complete game shutouts and was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, so if they gave the WS MVP to a pitcher, it probably would have gone to Ford.

That is why Bobby Richardson won the World Series MVP for the losing team and deservedly so.

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