Shohei Ohtani on Thursday was named AL MVP, which was an honor he was expected to receive. What was less certain was whether the voting would be somewhat fractured. The answer is: it wasn’t.
Ohtani received all 30 1st-place votes, making him a unanimous AL MVP selection. He is the first unanimous AL MVP since Mike Trout in 2014 and the 11th overall.
According to the BBWAA, here are all the unanimous AL MVP winners:
Hank Greenberg (1935), Al Rosen (1953), Mickey Mantle (1956), Frank Robinson (1966), Denny McLain (1968), Reggie Jackson (1973), Jose Canseco (1988), Frank Thomas (1993), Ken Griffey Jr. (1997) and Mike Trout (2014).
There have been seven unanimous NL MVP selections.
While this has happened a number of times previously in history, it still only occurs maybe about once per decade on average, making it a special honor.
Ohtani is a special player who had an extremely special season — one he may not even be able to replicate the rest of his career. He was deserving of the special recognition that comes from being a unanimous MVP selection. He is the fourth player in Angels franchise history to receive the honor, joining the aforementioned Trout, as well as Don Baylor and Vladimir Guerrero.
Another cool note about the vote is that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. finished second in voting. He became the first-ever son of a former MVP to receive an MVP vote. Maybe one day they will become the first father-son combination to win MVP awards.