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MVP Voting - Point Shares

By Bob Allen & Chuck Rosciam, Members of SABR



Voting for the MVP in each league by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is now based upon two voters per major league city with each ballot containing First thru Tenth place. When the BBWAA took over the voting in 1931, they used one writer in each city. That was changed to three from 1938 to 1961, then changed again to two. Also in 1938, the point count was changed by crediting 14 points for First Place (previously was 10 points), 9 points for Second Place, 8 points for Third, etc.

This variation in total voters and point tabulation since 1922 has made comparison meaningless without some other measurement form. Enter the MVP Points Share which converts all of the disparate numbers to a common measure. For example. If a player receives twelve 4th Place votes worth 7 points each, his total points would be 84. If there were a maximum possible point total of 336 that could have been earned by receiving the first-place nomination of every writer polled, then the player's 84 points equals 25% (84/336) of the Points Share. We now can compare players across eras to see how they rank in MVP voting by the share they received.

The first ranking is Cumulative, where all of the shares have been added up. Example. If a player received MVP votes in five different years and received all (1.000 % share) first place votes each year, then his cumulative point share would be 5.000. The second ranking display is an Average Point Share per Year (Cumulative Share Points divided by the Number of Years receiving votes).

Ranking of Catchers
Cumulative Point-Shares

Catcher Vote Share Share
  Yrs Cum Avg
Berra, Yogi 15 3.977 0.265
Piazza, Mike 9 3.168 0.352
Bench, Johnny 10 2.768 0.277
Cochrane, Mickey 8 2.697 0.337
Campanella, Roy 7 2.530 0.361
Hartnett, Gabby 10 2.521 0.252
Dickey, Bill 9 2.023 0.225
Carter, Gary 7 1.932 0.276
Munson, Thurman 7 1.502 0.215
Howard, Elston 5 1.488 0.298
Fisk, Carlton 7 1.277 0.182
Freehan, Bill 6 1.271 0.212
O'Farrell,  Bob 1 0.988 0.988
Lombardi, Ernie 5 0.979 0.196
Cooper, Walker 5 0.929 0.186
Rodriguez, Ivan 3 0.903 0.301
Bassler, Johnny 3 0.813 0.271
 

Ranking of Catchers
Average Point-Shares

Catcher Vote Share Share
  Yrs Cum Avg
O'Farrell,  Bob 1 0.988 0.988
McCarver, Tim 1 0.486 0.486
Campanella, Roy 7 2.530 0.361
Piazza, Mike 9 3.168 0.352
Cochrane, Mickey 8 2.697 0.337
Owen, Mickey 1 0.307 0.307
Rodriguez, Ivan 3 0.903 0.301
Howard, Elston 5 1.488 0.298
Bench, Johnny 10 2.768 0.277
Carter, Gary 7 1.932 0.276
Bassler, Johnny 3 0.813 0.271
Severeid, Hank 1 0.266 0.266
Berra, Yogi 15 3.977 0.265
Schalk, Ray 2 0.516 0.258
Hartnett, Gabby 10 2.521 0.252
Daulton, Darren 2 0.499 0.250
Edwards, Bruce 2 0.476 0.238
Dickey, Bill 9 2.023 0.225
Munson, Thurman 7 1.502 0.215
Hogan, Shanty 1 0.213 0.213
Freehan, Bill 6 1.271 0.212
 


INTERACTIVE
SPREADSHEET
OF SHARES




INTERACTIVE
SPREADSHEET
YEAR-BY-YEAR
VOTES



Maximum Point Totals for 100% of First-Place Votes

National League American League
1911-14 64 1911-14 64
1924-29 80 1922-28 64
1931-37 80 1931-37 80
1938-60 336 1938-60 336
1961 224 1961-68 280
1962-68 280 1969-76 336
1969-92 336 1977-present 392
1993-97 392
1998-present 448



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