St. Louis Cardinals: Five Most Recent MVP Winners
Joe Torre-Third Base/Catcher
Probably better-known for managing the Yankees, or being a Professional Baseball Executive, Joe Torre put together an MVP season in 1971 as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
During the MVP season, Torre collected 230 hits, 137 RBIs, 352 total bases, and hit .363. He led the league in all four categories. Solid power was displayed by Torre during this season as he hit 24 home runs. This was his best season, though his career was very good.
Torre ended his playing career with 2,342 hits, and he is the only man in history to record over 2,000 hits and win over 2,000 games as a manager. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2014. He retired from playing after eighteen seasons with nine All-Star selections and a Gold Glove. He spent six of those seasons as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, but also played for the Braves and Mets.
In 1971, the year Torre was the MVP, he posted a WAR of 5.9. That is the second highest of his career. He topped out at 6.4 in 1966. Until he was 30 years old, Torre would post a WAR of around four, but, after he turned 30, his numbers dropped to be around one year in and year out.
There are many Hall of Famers that Torre beat out to be named MVP. Among these names are Hank Aaron, Bobby Bonds, and Roberto Clemente. The runner up was Willie Stargell. Torre ended up with 95 percent share of the vote, winning almost unanimously. No one was even close to taking this honor from Torre in 1971.
He may never get remembered for being a player, or even winning the MVP, but he will go down in baseball history. Torre will go down in baseball lore as one of the greatest managers in history. With the trajectory of his career, who is to say what more he can bring to the game.