There have been 11 MVP award-winning seasons in Red Sox history, which feels like a number that is far too small. So today, we decided to compare the MVP seasons for Red Sox players against their year's voting results, the rest of the players in the league at that point, and the other Red Sox MVP winners to try and come up with a definitive ranking of who had the greatest season of all time for the Boston Red Sox.
This does mean that seasons like Pedro Martinez in 1999 (and 2000), Manny Ramirez in 2004, and David Ortiz in 2006 are not eligible for this ranking because they did not win MVP those years. While this ranking may be somewhat arbitrary due to the fickle nature of an award given out by baseball writers, sometimes we just have to take what baseball history gives us.
No. 11: Jackie Jensen, 1958
Going into this, I figured that the next MVP winner on this list was surely going to take last place, but then I dove into Jackie Jensen's 1958 season. The idea of a "best player on the best team" argument doesn't even work for Jensen, as the Red Sox finished third in the American League, well behind the pennant-winning Yankees. This award should probably have been given to Mickey Mantle, who finished 5th in voting after winning the previous 2 MVPs.
Jensen was a perfectly solid player for the Red Sox, accumulating 4.9 WAR in the season while leading the league with 122 RBIs that season. However, Mantle was just a much better player than Jensen. Mantle accumulated 8.7 WAR, led the American League in home runs (42), runs scored (127) and walks (129), and led the Yankees to another World Series title that season. The voting showed that the writers were split on the winner, with Jensen receiving only nine of the 24 first-place votes, winning the award based on voting points. Stealing an MVP from the Yankees is always satisfying, there's no denying that. However, Jackie Jensen honestly did not deserve this MVP.