4. & 3. Darryl Strawberry & Kevin McReynolds - 1988
Remember earlier when I mentioned Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds canceling each other out for being on the same team? Well, it happened to the Mets in 1988, when both Darryl Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds finished 2nd and 3rd behind eventual MVP winner Kirk Gibson.
I just don’t get this one, I really don’t. Yes, Kirk had a magical year for the Los Angeles Dodgers culminating in a World Series Championship but I just don’t see it statistically. He had a better batting average and WAR than Strawberry and McReynolds but I don’t think that was enough to beat them out. He didn’t even lead the league in any offensive categories. Both Mets sluggers beat him out in home runs and RBI’s.
It wasn’t a runaway for Gibson either as these two Mets also received first-place votes. Strawberry ended up with seven, while McReynolds got four first-place votes. This leaves many Mets fans including myself wondering what could have been. What really could have been if the Mets beat the Dodgers in the NLCS as they should have? What really could have happened if the Mets won their 2nd championship in 3 years. We would be celebrating a dynasty right now as well as our first MVP award winner.
Who would have been the MVP out of the two? If you want to make the case for one, Strawberry should probably have been named MVP. He led the league in 3 categories (39HR, .545SLG, .911OPS).