St. Louis Cardinals: Five Most Recent MVP Winners

Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 26, 2010 in Washington, DC. It was the 400th home run of his career. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 26, 2010 in Washington, DC. It was the 400th home run of his career. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /

Keith Hernandez-First Base

The next St. Louis Cardinals player to win an MVP is Keith Hernandez.   He ended the voting tied with Willie Stargell, so they were Co-MVPs that year.

Stagell is not the worst guy with which to share an award like this but it does say a lot about the season Hernandez put together.  This happened in 1979 and it remains the only MVP race for either league to end with a tie.  Hernandez and Stargell both ended with 65 percent share of the vote.  Stargell had significantly more first place votes, but Hernandez caught up with other votes.

The peculiar thing about the shared award is that Stargell was 39 in 1979; Hernandez was 25.  While there is no age restriction for the award, skills usually decline by the age of Stargell’s award-winning season.  By every indication, Henandez had a much better season.  When it is all over, however, the votes are what matters.

As far as the WAR that season for both winners, Hernandez was better without any contest.  In fact, Stargell had a WAR of 2.5, which seems minuscule in comparison to the 7.6 that Hernandez posted.

Hernandez led the league with 116 runs, 48 doubles, and a  batting average of .344.  He showed a really good eye too, drawing 80 walks.  He drove in 105 runs, and hit 11 triples.  The triples reveal the true hitting ability that he had because he only stole 11 bases during the season.

Over the course of his 17-year career, Hernandez compiled eleven Gold Gloves, five All-Star selections, and two Silver Slugger Awards.  He was a great player for the St. Louis Cardinals to have on their roster for a decade.  He could be counted on every year he was there to provide value with his bat.