Boston Red Sox: Mookie Betts in good company as MVP runner-up
By Sean Penney
The legendary Ted Williams was the runner-up for MVP four times (1941, 1942, 1947, 1957). The Splendid Splinter won the batting title in each of those seasons, including one year when he hit an astounding .406, making him the last player to qualify for a batting title to hit over .400 in a season.
Williams’ ornery personality didn’t leave him with the best relationship with the media members that voted for the award, which may have cost him a trophy or two.
He also had the misfortune of playing in an era when the postseason format of today didn’t exist. Back in those days the top team in each league went to the World Series and MVP voters leaned heavily toward the top player on that team. Unfortunately for Williams, that team was rarely the Red Sox. In his 19 year career he only played in one World Series, a losing effort in 1946, the year Williams won the first of his two career MVP awards.
It also didn’t help that he competed against loaded New York Yankees teams boasting several all-time great players. He finished second to Joe DiMaggio twice, then a decade later fell short to Mickey Mantle.
Williams won the Triple Crown twice in his career, yet didn’t win the MVP in either season.