Tourtellotte: Retrospective MVP awards for the League Championship Series

From SABR member Shane Tourtellotte at The Hardball Times on October 9, 2019:

My reading of After the Miracle, the memoir of the 1969 New York Mets by Art Shamsky and Erik Sherman, already spurred me into some writing here a few months ago. That examination of myths and memories, however, wasn’t the only inspiration the book gave me.

Twenty pages of the book are given over to the ’69 Mets’ meeting with the Atlanta Braves in the very first National League Championship Series. The Mets won in a three-game sweep, with several hitters putting up impressive numbers in a series surprisingly dominated by offense. (That is, the Mets were surprised by how aces Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman got battered, while the Braves were surprised the Mets still out-hit them.) With all those great performances, I got to wondering which one was the best.

These days, there would be an answer of sorts to that question: the series MVP. That answer didn’t exist back then, the year we went from a World Series to a full-blown “postseason.” While the World Series first had an MVP award in 1955, the NLCS didn’t get an official MVP award until 1977, while the ALCS waited three more years to institute its own award.

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Originally published: October 15, 2019. Last Updated: October 15, 2019.