League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award
|League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award|
|Awarded for||Annual Most Valuable Player of the League Championship Series|
|Presented by||American League, National League|
|First awarded||1977 (NL), 1980 (AL)|
|Currently held by||
Michael Wacha, 2013 St. Louis Cardinals (NL)|
Koji Uehara, 2013 Boston Red Sox (AL)
The second round of the Major League Baseball post-season is known as the League Championship Series (LCS). This series has a best-of-seven playoff format, and currently follows the Division Series, in which the three division champions and one wild card team from each league play against each other based on their regular-season records.[a] The winners of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) and the American League Championship Series (ALCS) advance to the World Series, Major League Baseball's championship. The 2009 LCS winners were the Philadelphia Phillies (National League) and the New York Yankees (American League).
The LCS Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is given to the player deemed to have the most impact on his team's performance in the series. The award has been presented in the National League since 1977, and in the American League since 1980. Dusty Baker won the inaugural award in 1977 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Frank White won the first American League award in 1980 with the Kansas City Royals. The seven Hall of Famers to win LCS MVPs include Roberto Alomar, George Brett, Dennis Eckersley, Rickey Henderson, Kirby Puckett, Ozzie Smith, and Willie Stargell.
Three players have won the award twice: Steve Garvey (1978, 1984), Dave Stewart (1990, 1993), and Orel Hershiser (1988, 1995). Six players have gone on to win the World Series MVP Award in the same season in which they won the LCS MVP—all of them in the National League. Willie Stargell was the first to accomplish the feat, winning in 1979, and Darrell Porter won both in 1982. Hershiser notched his two wins in 1988, and Liván Hernández won both in 1997. Cole Hamels did it in 2008. David Freese, the 2011 NLCS MVP, was the last to accomplish the double win. Three players have won while playing for the losing team in the series: Fred Lynn played for the 1982 California Angels; Mike Scott pitched for the 1986 Houston Astros; and Jeffrey Leonard played for the 1987 San Francisco Giants. Two players have shared the award in the same year once; Rob Dibble and Randy Myers combined for 4 saves and 17 strikeouts in 102⁄3 scoreless innings pitched out of the 1990 Cincinnati Reds' bullpen.
Many LCS MVPs have been presented to players who have exhibited rare or extraordinary statistical performances in the seven-game playoff series. Garvey, Leonard, and Albert Pujols hit four home runs in their winning series—Garvey in his first win. Adam Kennedy won the 2002 ALCS MVP for hitting 3 home runs in 5 games; he had hit 7 during the regular season and, as of the end of the 2009 season[update], has hit 68 in his 11-year career. David Ortiz had 11 runs batted in (RBI) during the 2004 ALCS and Iván Rodríguez had 10 during the 2003 NLCS—the only two players to reach double-digit RBI in the series in the history of the award. From the pitcher's mound, Steve Avery threw 161⁄3 innings without giving up a run in the 1991 NLCS, and John Smoltz amassed 19 strikeouts the following year. Liván Hernández won the 1997 NLCS MVP after winning his only start and earning a win out of the bullpen in relief; he struck out 16 in 102⁄3 innings.
Liván Hernández (1997, NL) and his half-brother Orlando Hernández (1999, AL) are the only family pair to have won the award. The only rookies to have won the award are Mike Boddicker (1983, AL), Liván Hernández (1997, NL), and Michael Wacha (2013, NL).
|Year||Links to the article about that corresponding ALCS or NLCS|
|Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Indicates that the player won the World Series MVP Award the same year|
|Indicates losing team in the series|
|Indicates multiple award winners in the same year|
|Indicates number of times winning League Championship Series MVP at that point (if he won multiple times)|
American League winners
National League winners
- a The three division leaders, along with the wild card team, are paired based on their win–loss record: the team with the best record (team 1) plays the wild card team (team 4), regardless of their record, while the other two division winners (teams 2 and 3) play each other. From 1995 through 2011, if the wild-card team and team 1 were from the same division, team 1 played team 3, and team 2 played team 4.
- Inline citations
- Playoff and World Series Stats at Baseball-Reference