Tuesday, November 15, 2005

November 15th, 1967

Carl Yastrzemski Wins MVP Award

I suppose I should be nicer to sportswriters, since they've done pretty well in their awards this year, and I was rather critical of them just a few days ago. But I gotta call 'em like I see 'em and there's a problem. Not with the winner, of course, Yaz won the Triple Crown in 1967 and absolutely deserved the award. However some sportswriter somewhere cast perhaps the most baffling Most Valuable Player vote in history. Yaz received nineteen of the twenty first place votes. The final vote went not to second place finisher Harmon Killebrew, nor to third place Bill Freehan, or to the highest placing pitcher, Chicago's Joe Horlen. The final first place vote went to the man who finished seventh, Minnesota’s Cesar Tovar.

Tovar had doubtless been versatile for the Twins in 1967, playing the second most games at third base, second base, and also manning time at shortstop and the outfield. On the other hand, he hit just .267 with a .691 OPS (OPS+ of 107) to Yaz's .326 and OPS of 1.040 (OPS+ of 195). And while Yaz wasn't as defensively versatile as Pepito (as the 5'9" Tovar was known); he was no slouch defensively, winning a Gold Glove for his outfield play. So what was that final voter thinking? I have no idea.

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