Mets are one of three teams without an MVP winner and there’s no end in sight
By Tim Boyle
In over 50 opportunities, the New York Mets have never had a player win an MVP award. Things won’t change anytime soon.
When Johan Santana threw a no-hitter for the New York Mets, the white whale in Flushing was harpooned. Plenty of franchises have these “out-of-reach” accomplishments. For the Mets, one that has continued to elude them is an MVP.
The Mets are one of only three MLB franchises without an MVP to their name. The other two, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays, have had only 20 years to get one. The Amazins have had almost three times as long.
In 1988, the two guys on the roster came close to capturing the award. Darryl Strawberry finished behind the winner Kirk Gibson with 70% of the shared vote compared to his 81%. Kevin McReynolds finished a more distant third-place with 48% of the shared vote.
That particular season didn’t include any snubs. Gibson won the award outright. In doing so, a drought continued and has for another 30 years.
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Strawberry never finished closer than that in the MVP race. Others have tried since, without much luck.
David Wright never finished a year closer than fourth place. Even in all of his monster years, Mike Piazza only reached third-place once despite a Hall of Fame career.
The 1969 season nearly got them their first MVP. Cy Young winner Tom Seaver finished behind only Willie McCovey. Each received 11 first-place votes. However, McCovey’s 79% share bested Seaver’s 72%. The narrow margin has continually haunted the franchise since.
Thankfully for them, I don’t think they’ll be alone anytime soon. The Rays don’t have any MVP-caliber players on their roster. While the Diamondbacks could see a guy like Paul Goldschmidt take the award home, others regularly outplay him in some regard every year.
Throughout their history, this franchise has put pitching first, offense second. As a result, they have a pretty rich history of Cy Young winners. Though pitchers do qualify for the MVP, it would take a historical season for any arm to snatch it away from the bats.
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Until the Diamondbacks or Rays make some significant change or get a historical season from someone, the Mets will have company in this chase. No one on the current roster looks like a candidate.