No. 3: Ted Williams, 1946
The narrative was there for Teddy Ballgame. A dominant hitter, returning from serving his country in the Second World War, leading his team to the AL Pennant, how could you not be romantic about baseball? We start off our podium with Williams' first of two MVP awards, and what a way to get started. Williams in 1946 was truly a man on a mission, but the voting for this one really ended up as a toss-up.
Williams generated 10.6 WAR in the 1946 season, leading the league in walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and runs scored, generating an OPS+ of 215, meaning Williams was more than two times better than the average hitter in the Majors in 1946. With all that being said, Williams only received 9 of the 24 first-place votes for the award, winning ultimately on voting points. A main issue that caused this was the success of his own teammates. The writers were clearly split on who the alpha of the 1946 Red Sox was, meaning that five Red Sox finished in the top 10 of MVP voting in 1946. The writers made the right choice in going with Williams, obviously, but it's amazing just how split the vote was for this award.