Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Jackie Jensen – Right Field
1958 Stats: 154 G, .286/.396/.535, 157 H, 83 R, 35 HR, 122 RBI
Jensen was one of my favorite players in my youth and his capturing the MVP certainly got the attention of a young fan, but now I am an old fan and reflect back. Boston finished third and the MVP field was very weak. Bob Turley (21-7, 2.97), the fine right-hander for the pennant-winning Yankees, finished second. Rocky Colavito and Bob Cerv had decent years and Mickey Mantle, a Mike Trout type perennial favorite, failed to knock in a 100.
Dustin Pedroia – Second base
2008 Stats: 157 G, .326/.376/.493, 213 H, 118 R, 17 HR, 83 RBI
A special player who did everything possible to get to the World Series, but Tampa finished the Red Sox off in the ALCS. Petey led the league in hits, runs and doubles while getting an All-Star nod, Silver Slugger, and a Gold Glove. Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer split the Twins vote and Kevin Youkilis grabbed third in the voting. Good numbers and possibly great numbers considering his position.
Tris Speaker – Centerfield
1912 Stats: 153 G, .384/.464/.567, 222 H, 136 R, 10 HR, 90 RBI
A classy defensive player and a member of the HOF. Speaker led the American League in doubles (53), OBP and home runs. Yes – this was the Deadball era and ten home runs was enough to lead. Part of the great outfield with Harry Hooper and Duffy Lewis. The Red Sox went on to win the World Series and Speaker thus becomes the only Red Sox MVP on a championship team.
Mo Vaughn – First Base
1995 Stats: 140 G, .300/.388/.575, 165 H, 98 R, 39 HR, 126 RBI
This MVP vote just about came down to a hanging chad as Vaughn beat out Albert Belle or “Joey.” I actually think Mo had a few seasons in Boston that surpassed his MVP year and the next year – 1996 – was one of them, but in 1995 the Red Sox won the division and that gets some extra points. Vaughn did lead the league in RBI (and strikeouts) and that .000 in the three-game loss to Cleveland in the ALDS still pains me.
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