Nippon Professional Baseball Most Valuable Player Award

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Sadaharu Oh standing wearing a Japan national baseball team uniform during the 2006 Wold Baseball Classic
Sadaharu Oh, nine-time winner—more wins than any other player

The Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award (最優秀選手 Saiyūshūsenshu?) is an honor given annually in baseball to two outstanding players in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), one each for the Central League and Pacific League.

Each league's award is voted on by national baseball writers.[1] Each voter places a vote for first, second, and third place among the players of each league. The formula used to calculate the final scores is a weighted sum of the votes.[A] The player with the highest score in each league wins the award.[2]

The first recipient of the award was Eiji Sawamura,[3] and the most recent winners are Alex Ramírez, from the Central League, and Yu Darvish, from the Pacific League.[4][5] In 1940, Victor Starffin became the first player to win the award consecutively and multiple times.[3] Eiji Sawamura and Kazuhisa Inao are the youngest players to receive the awards in 1937 and 1957, respectively, at the ages of 20.[6] In 1988, Hiromitsu Kadota became the oldest player to receive the award at the age of 40.[7]

Key[edit]

Position
players
RBIs Runs batted in
AVG Batting average
Pitchers Record Record of decisions (tie games are omitted)
Saves Number of saves[B]
ERA Earned run average
(#) Indicates number of times winning MVP Award (if multiple winner)
* Elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame[8]

Winners[edit]

Japanese Baseball League (1937–1949)[edit]

Black and white photograph showing Haruyasu Nakajima with a bat over his shoulder preparing to bat.
Haruyasu Nakajima won one MVP award before NPB was formed in 1950.
Year Player Team Position Selected statistics Notes
1937
(Spring)
Sawamura, EijiEiji Sawamura* Tokyo Kyojin Pitcher [9]
1937
(Fall)
McGalliard, HarrisHarris McGalliard Korakuen Eagles Catcher [10]
1938
(Spring)
Karita, HisanoriHisanori Karita* Tokyo Senators Second baseman [11]
1938
(Fall)
Nakajima, HaruyasuHaruyasu Nakajima* Tokyo Kyojin Outfielder [12]
1939 Starffin, VictorVictor Starffin* Tokyo Kyojin Pitcher [13]
1940 Starffin, VictorVictor Starffin* (2) Tokyo Kyojin Pitcher [14]
1941 Kawakami, TetsuharuTetsuharu Kawakami* Tokyo Kyojin First baseman [15]
1942 Mizuhara, ShigeruShigeru Mizuhara* Tokyo Kyojin Third baseman
1943 Go, ShoseiShosei Go* Tokyo Kyojin Outfielder [16]
1944 Wakabayashi, TadashiTadashi Wakabayashi* Hanshin Pitcher [17]
1945 Z
Season canceled[C]
Z Z Z
1946 Yamamoto, KazutoKazuto Yamamoto* Great Ring First baseman [18]
1947 Wakabayashi, TadashiTadashi Wakabayashi* (2) Osaka Tigers Pitcher [19]
1948 Yamamoto, KazutoKazuto Yamamoto* (2) Nankai Hawks Third baseman [20]
1949 Fujimura, FumioFumio Fujimura* Osaka Tigers Third baseman [21]

Nippon Professional Baseball (1950–present)[edit]

Central League[edit]

Michihiro Ogasawara is one of only two players to win the award in the Central and Pacific Leagues.
Masumi Kuwata, 1994 CL winner
Kei Igawa, 2003 CL winner
Kenshin Kawakami, 2004 CL winner
Kosuke Fukudome, 2006 CL winner
Year Player Team Position Selected statistics
1950 Kozuru, MakotoMakoto Kozuru* Shochiku Robins Outfielder
1951 Kawakami, TetsuharuTetsuharu Kawakami* (2) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1952 Bessho, TakehikoTakehiko Bessho* Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1953 Otomo, TakumiTakumi Otomo Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1954 Sugishita, ShigeruShigeru Sugishita* Chunichi Dragons Pitcher
1955 Kawakami, TetsuharuTetsuharu Kawakami* (3) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1956 Bessho, TakehikoTakehiko Bessho* (2) Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1957 Yonamine, WallyWally Yonamine* Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
1958 Fujita, MotoshiMotoshi Fujita* Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1959 Fujita, MotoshiMotoshi Fujita* (2) Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1960 Akiyama, NoboruNoboru Akiyama* Taiyo Whales Pitcher
1961 Nagashima, ShigeoShigeo Nagashima* Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
1962 Murayama, MinoruMinoru Murayama* Osaka Tigers Pitcher
1963 Nagashima, ShigeoShigeo Nagashima* (2) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
1964 Oh, SadaharuSadaharu Oh* Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1965 Oh, SadaharuSadaharu Oh* (2) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1966 Nagashima, ShigeoShigeo Nagashima* (3) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
1967 Oh, SadaharuSadaharu Oh* (3) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1968 Nagashima, ShigeoShigeo Nagashima* (4) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
1969 Oh, SadaharuSadaharu Oh* (4) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1970 Oh, SadaharuSadaharu Oh* (5) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1971 Shigeo Nagashima* (5) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
1972 Horiuchi, TsuneoTsuneo Horiuchi* Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1973 Oh, SadaharuSadaharu Oh* (6) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1974 Oh, SadaharuSadaharu Oh* (7) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1975 Yamamoto, KojiKoji Yamamoto* Hiroshima Toyo Carp Outfielder
1976 Oh, SadaharuSadaharu Oh* (8) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1977 Oh, SadaharuSadaharu Oh* (9) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1978 Wakamatsu, TsutomuTsutomu Wakamatsu* Yakult Swallows Outfielder
1979 Enatsu, YutakaYutaka Enatsu Hiroshima Toyo Carp Relief pitcher
1980 Yamamoto, KojiKoji Yamamoto* (2) Hiroshima Toyo Carp Outfielder
1981 Egawa, SuguruSuguru Egawa Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1982 Nakao, TakayoshiTakayoshi Nakao Chunichi Dragons Catcher
1983 Hara, TatsunoriTatsunori Hara Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
1984 Kinugasa, SachioSachio Kinugasa* Hiroshima Toyo Carp Third baseman
1985 Bass, RandyRandy Bass Hanshin Tigers First baseman
1986 Kitabeppu, ManabuManabu Kitabeppu Hiroshima Toyo Carp Starting pitcher
1987 Yamakura, KazuhiroKazuhiro Yamakura Yomiuri Giants Catcher
1988 Kaku, GenjiGenji Kaku Chunichi Dragons Relief pitcher
1989 Cromartie, WarrenWarren Cromartie Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
1990 Saito, MasakiMasaki Saito Yomiuri Giants Starting pitcher
1991 Sasaoka, ShinjiShinji Sasaoka Hiroshima Toyo Carp Pitcher
1992 Howell, JackJack Howell Yakult Swallows Third baseman
1993 Furuta, AtsuyaAtsuya Furuta Yakult Swallows Catcher
1994 Kuwata, MasumiMasumi Kuwata Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1995 O'Malley, TomTom O'Malley Yakult Swallows First baseman
1996 Matsui, HidekiHideki Matsui Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
1997 Furuta, AtsuyaAtsuya Furuta (2) Yakult Swallows Catcher
1998 Sasaki, KazuhiroKazuhiro Sasaki Yokohama BayStars Relief pitcher
1999 Noguchi, ShigekiShigeki Noguchi Chunichi Dragons Starting pitcher
2000 Matsui, HidekiHideki Matsui (2) Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
2001 Petagine, RobertoRoberto Petagine Yakult Swallows First baseman
2002 Matsui, HidekiHideki Matsui (3) Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
2003 Igawa, KeiKei Igawa Hanshin Tigers Starting pitcher
2004 Kawakami, KenshinKenshin Kawakami Chunichi Dragons Starting pitcher
2005 Kanemoto, TomoakiTomoaki Kanemoto Hanshin Tigers Outfielder
2006 Fukudome, KosukeKosuke Fukudome Chunichi Dragons Outfielder
2007 Ogasawara, MichihiroMichihiro Ogasawara (2) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
2008 Ramírez, AlexAlex Ramírez Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
2009 Ramírez, AlexAlex Ramírez (2) Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
2010 Wada, KazuhiroKazuhiro Wada Chunichi Dragons Outfielder
2011 Asao, TakuyaTakuya Asao Chunichi Dragons Relief pitcher
2012 Abe, ShinnosukeShinnosuke Abe Yomiuri Giants Catcher
2013 Balentien, WladimirWladimir Balentien Tokyo Yakult Swallows Outfielder

Pacific League[edit]

Hiromitsu Ochiai, two-time PL winner
Nobuhiko Matsunaka, two-time PL winner
Hideo Nomo, 1990 PL winner
Kenji Johjima, 2003 PL winner
Yu Darvish, 2007 PL winner
Year Player Team Position Selected statistics
1950 Betto, KaoruKaoru Betto* Mainichi Orions Outfielder
1951 Yamamoto, KazutoKazuto Yamamoto* Nankai Hawks Second baseman
1952 Yuki, SusumuSusumu Yuki Nankai Hawks Pitcher
1953 Okamoto, IsamiIsami Okamoto Nankai Hawks Second baseman
1954 Oshita, HiroshiHiroshi Oshita* Nishitetsu Lions Outfielder
1955 Iida, TokujiTokuji Iida* Nankai Hawks Outfielder
1956 Nakanishi, FutoshiFutoshi Nakanishi* Nishitetsu Lions Third baseman
1957 Inao, KazuhisaKazuhisa Inao* Nishitetsu Lions Pitcher
1958 Inao, KazuhisaKazuhisa Inao* (2) Nishitetsu Lions Pitcher
1959 Sugiura, TadashiTadashi Sugiura* Nankai Hawks Pitcher
1960 Yamauchi, KazuhiroKazuhiro Yamauchi* Mainichi Daimai Orions OF 103 .313
1961 Nomura, KatsuyaKatsuya Nomura* Nankai Hawks C 89 .296
1962 Harimoto, IsaoIsao Harimoto* Toei Flyers OF 99 .333
1963 Nomura, KatsuyaKatsuya Nomura* (2) Nankai Hawks C 135 .291
1964 Stanka, JoeJoe Stanka Nankai Hawks P 26–7 2.40
1965 Nomura, KatsuyaKatsuya Nomura* (3) Nankai Hawks C 110 .320
1966 Nomura, KatsuyaKatsuya Nomura* (4) Nankai Hawks C 97 .312
1967 Adachi, MitsuhiroMitsuhiro Adachi Hankyu Braves P 20–10 1.75
1968 Yoneda, TetsuyaTetsuya Yoneda* Hankyu Braves P 29–13 2.79
1969 Nagaike, TokujiTokuji Nagaike Hankyu Braves OF 101 .316
1970 Kitaru, MasaakiMasaaki Kitaru Lotte Orions P 21–10 2.53
1971 Nagaike, TokujiTokuji Nagaike (2) Hankyu Braves OF 114 .317
1972 Fukumoto, YutakaYutaka Fukumoto* Hankyu Braves OF 40 .301
1973 Nomura, KatsuyaKatsuya Nomura* (5) Nankai Hawks C 96 .309
1974 Kaneda, TomehiroTomehiro Kaneda Lotte Orions P 16–7 0 2.90
1975 Kato, HidejiHideji Kato Hankyu Braves 1B 97 .309
1976 Yamada, HisashiHisashi Yamada* Hankyu Braves P 26–7 5 2.39
1977 Yamada, HisashiHisashi Yamada* (2) Hankyu Braves P 16–10 7 2.28
1978 Yamada, HisashiHisashi Yamada* (3) Hankyu Braves P 18–4 4 2.66
1979 Manuel, CharlieCharlie Manuel Kintetsu Buffaloes OF 94 .324
1980 Kida, IsamuIsamu Kida Nippon Ham Fighters P 22–8 4 2.28
1981 Enatsu, YutakaYutaka Enatsu (2) Nippon Ham Fighters P 3–6 25 2.82
1982 Ochiai, HiromitsuHiromitsu Ochiai Lotte Orions 2B 99 .325
1983 Higashio, OsamuOsamu Higashio* Seibu Lions P 18–9 2 2.92
1984 Wells, GregGreg Wells Hankyu Braves 1B 130 .355
1985 Ochiai, HiromitsuHiromitsu Ochiai (2) Lotte Orions 3B 146 .367
1986 Ishige, HiromichiHiromichi Ishige Seibu Lions SS 89 .329
1987 Higashio, OsamuOsamu Higashio* (2) Seibu Lions P 15–9 0 2.59
1988 Kadota, HiromitsuHiromitsu Kadota* Nankai Hawks OF 125 .311
1989 Bryant, RalphRalph Bryant Kintetsu Buffaloes OF 121 .283
1990 Nomo, HideoHideo Nomo Kintetsu Buffaloes P 18–8 0 2.91
1991 Kaku, TaigenTaigen Kaku Seibu Lions P 15–6 1 2.59
1992 Ishii, TakehiroTakehiro Ishii Seibu Lions P 15–3 3 1.94
1993 Kudoh, KimiyasuKimiyasu Kudoh Seibu Lions P 15–3 0 2.06
1994 Suzuki, IchiroIchiro Suzuki Orix BlueWave OF 54 .385
1995 Suzuki, IchiroIchiro Suzuki (2) Orix BlueWave OF 80 .342
1996 Suzuki, IchiroIchiro Suzuki (3) Orix BlueWave OF 84 .356
1997 Nishiguchi, FumiyaFumiya Nishiguchi Seibu Lions P 15–5 1 3.12
1998 Matsui, KazuoKazuo Matsui Seibu Lions SS 58 .311
1999 Kudoh, KimiyasuKimiyasu Kudoh (2) Fukuoka Daiei Hawks P 11–7 0 2.38
2000 Matsunaka, NobuhikoNobuhiko Matsunaka Fukuoka Daiei Hawks 1B 106 .312
2001 Rhodes, TuffyTuffy Rhodes Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes OF 131 .327
2002 Cabrera, AlexAlex Cabrera Seibu Lions 1B 115 .336
2003 Johjima, KenjiKenji Johjima Fukuoka Daiei Hawks C 119 .330
2004 Matsunaka, NobuhikoNobuhiko Matsunaka (2) Fukuoka Daiei Hawks 1B 120 .358
2005 Sugiuchi, ToshiyaToshiya Sugiuchi Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks P 18–4 0 2.11
2006 Ogasawara, MichihiroMichihiro Ogasawara Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 1B 100 .312
2007 Darvish, YuYu Darvish Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters P 15–5 0 1.82
2008 Iwakuma, HisashiHisashi Iwakuma Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles P 21–4 0 1.87
2009 Darvish, YuYu Darvish (2) Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters P 15–5 0 1.73
2010 Wada, TsuyoshiTsuyoshi Wada Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks P 17–8 0 3.14
2011 Uchikawa, SeiichiSeiichi Uchikawa Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 1B 145 .338
2012 Yoshikawa, MitsuoMitsuo Yoshikawa Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters P 14–5 0 1.71
2013 Tanaka, MasahiroMasahiro Tanaka Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles P 24–0 1 1.27

Multiple winners[edit]

Ichiro Suzuki fielding a ball in the outfield as a Seattle Mariner
Ichiro Suzuki, three-time consecutive winner
A man in a grey baseball uniform and blue batting helmet swings a baseball bat standing at home plate.
Hideki Matsui, three-time winner

There have been 22 players who have won the award multiple times. Sadaharu Oh currently holds the record for the most awards won, with nine. Hisashi Yamada (1976–1978) and Ichiro Suzuki (1994–1996) share the record for the most consecutive awards won. Yutaka Enatsu and Michihiro Ogasawara are the only players to have won the award in both the Central League and Pacific League. Alex Ramírez is the only non-Japanese player receive the award multiple times after the formation of two league system.

Player League # of Awards Seasons
Oh, SadaharuSadaharu Oh* Central 9 1964, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977
Nomura, KatsuyaKatsuya Nomura* Pacific 5 1961, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1973
Nagashima, ShigeoShigeo Nagashima* Central 5 1961, 1963, 1966, 1968, 1971
Kawakami, TetsuharuTetsuharu Kawakami* Central[D] 3 1941, 1951, 1955
Yamada, HisashiHisashi Yamada* Pacific 3 1976, 1977, 1978
Suzuki, IchiroIchiro Suzuki Pacific 3 1994, 1995, 1996
Matsui, HidekiHideki Matsui Central 3 1996, 2000, 2002
Starffin, VictorVictor Starffin* JBL 2 1939, 1940
Wakabayashi, TadashiTadashi Wakabayashi* JBL 2 1944, 1947
Yamamoto, KazutoKazuto Yamamoto* JBL 2 1946, 1948
Bessho, TakehikoTakehiko Bessho* Central 2 1952, 1956
Inao, KazuhisaKazuhisa Inao* Pacific 2 1957, 1958
Fujita, MotoshiMotoshi Fujita* Central 2 1958, 1959
Nagaike, TokujiTokuji Nagaike Pacific 2 1969, 1971
Yamamoto, KojiKoji Yamamoto* Central 2 1975, 1980
Enatsu, YutakaYutaka Enatsu Both 2 1979, 1981
Ochiai, HiromitsuHiromitsu Ochiai Pacific 2 1982, 1985
Higashio, OsamuOsamu Higashio Pacific 2 1983, 1987
Furuta, AtsuyaAtsuya Furuta Central 2 1993, 1997
Kudoh, KimiyasuKimiyasu Kudoh Pacific 2 1993, 1999
Matsunaka, NobuhikoNobuhiko Matsunaka Pacific 2 2000, 2004
Ogasawara, MichihiroMichihiro Ogasawara Both 2 2006, 2007
Darvish, YuYu Darvish Pacific 2 2007, 2009
Ramírez, AlexAlex Ramírez Central 2 2008, 2009

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ Nagatsuka, Kaz (November 15, 2006). "Ogasawara, Fukudome given MVP awards for 2006 season". The Japan Times. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "2008年度 表彰選手 投票結果(最優秀選手)" (in Japanese). NPB. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "1リーグ 最優秀選手" (in Japanese). Sports Hochi. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  4. ^ "セ・リーグ 最優秀選手" (in Japanese). Sports Hochi. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  5. ^ "パ・リーグ 最優秀選手" (in Japanese). Sports Hochi. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Darvish, Ogasawara earn MVP honors". The Japan Times. November 21, 2007. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Kadota, Hiromitsu". The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Hall of Famers List". The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  9. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 14.
  10. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 16.
  11. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 19.
  12. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 21.
  13. ^ "1939年" (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  14. ^ "1940年" (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  15. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 31.
  16. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 36.
  17. ^ "1944年" (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  18. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 41.
  19. ^ "1947年" (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  20. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 46.
  21. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 49.
  22. ^ "1974年" (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved September 8, 2009. [dead link]
  23. ^ Fitts, Robert K. (September 2008). Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball. University of Nebraska Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-8032-1381-6. 

References[edit]