MLB History

A Baseball Trivia Question and an Homage to the Larry King Radio Show

Jim ConsidineContributor IIMay 1, 2012

A Baseball Trivia Question and an Homage to the Larry King Radio Show

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    Once upon a time, before CNN was born, Larry King hosted an all-night radio talk show. The show originated in Washington, D.C., and was syndicated across the USA. As far as over-night radio on the AM dial, Larry was the king of the airwaves.

    The Larry King back then was not the kind and gentle, heart-healthy Larry King who we see on television today. The radio version of Larry was a curmudgeonly, sarcastic man who ate lots of pastrami and corned beef at Duke's Deli (a D.C. legend) daily, while seemingly divorcing wives annually. 

    Larry did not hesitate to blow off a caller who tried to get cute on the air. For that matter, he would diss callers whose agenda was too slow-paced for his liking. King was also known to take an occasional catnap on the air. This was not the show for lonely people with who loved kittens.

    One early morn, I was searching for the light switch while my alarm radio was broadcasting the Larry King show. A caller announced that he had the greatest baseball trivia question of all time. Larry grunted and told the called to let it rip.

    One area that Larry did not trifle was his appreciation of America's pastime. Larry is a true-blue Dodger fan. 

    I heard the question and not trusting my foggy head, I scrambled to find a pencil so I could record this when the rest of the world was up and about.

    NOTE: This question to follow was posed in 1991. Three players have accomplished this feat since this question was broadcast. For the sake of this story, I will acknowledge the three newest members of this story on the tenth slide.  The trivia question is ...

    Nine baseball players have won consecutive MVP awards in Major League Baseball. Consequently, each of these ballplayers played a different defensive position. Name these players.

    (Your hint is that each consecutive MVP'er played one of the nine infield/outfield positions in their award winning seasons.)

     

    1)  Pitcher:  ____________________

    2)  Catcher:  _____________________

    3)  1st base:  _____________________

    4)  2nd base:  ____________________

    5)  3rd base:  ____________________

    6)  Shortstop:  ______________________

    7)  OF:  ____________________

    8)  OF:  ____________________

    9)  OF:  ____________________

          The answers will follow ...

#1) Pitcher ...

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    MVP:  1944, 1945

#2) Catcher ...

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    MVP:  1951, 1954, 1955

#3) First Base ...

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    MVP:  1932, 1933, 1938*

    * won the 1938 award as a member of the Boston Red Sox

#4) Second Base ...

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    MVP:  1973, 1974

#5) Third Base ...

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    MVP:  1980, 1981, 1986

#6) Shortstop ...

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    MVP:  1958, 1959

The Outfielders ...

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    Two of the three outfielders are pictured above ...

    (HINT: The third outfielder's first name is NOT Willie.)

The M&M Boys

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    MVP:  

    Maris - 1960, 1961 

    Mantle - 1956*, 1957, 1962

    Note: Roger Maris is one of two members of the consecutive MVP club who is not a member of the Hall of Fame. The second member is Dale Murphy.

    Mantle hits for the Triple Crown in 1956.

The Third Outfielder ... and the Third "M"

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    Dale Murphy, Atlanta Braves
    Dale Murphy, Atlanta Braves

    MVP:  1982, 1983

    Note: Dale Murphy is one of two members of the consecutive MVP club who is not a member of the Hall of Fame. The second member is Roger Maris.

The Players Who Have Accomplished This Feat Since 1991

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    Barry Bonds busted up the answer to this question in 1993.

    In 1994, Frank Thomas was the next player to win consecutive MVP's.

    Bonds knocked the question out of the park with consecutive wins in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.  (I'll bite my tongue about drugs that enhance athletic performance). 

    The most recent addition to the fraternity of consecutive MVP award winners is Albert Pujols.  Pujols won the award in 2005, 2008 & 2009.

Multiple & Noteworthy MVP Award Winners

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          PLAYER      MVP        Awards          YEARS                  OF NOTE ...
    Alex Rodriguez 3 2003, 2005, 2007 Won the award in 2003 for Texas (a last place finish) & NY Yankees
    Mike Schmidt 3 1980, 1981, 1986 Lead the 1980 Phillies to first World Series Championship in 97 seasons.
    Roy Campanella 3 1951, 1953, 1955 Roy was crippled in car accident following 1957 season.  The Brooklyn Dodgers & NY Yankees won a total of 10 MVP's in the 1950's.
    Stan Musial 3 1943, 1946, 1948 Played for Cards for 22 years from 1941 through 1963.
    Cal Ripken, Jr. 2 1983, 1991 World Series Champ in 1983 
    Frank Robinson 2 1961, 1966 Won the award in both leagues --Forged path for the Reds to first World Series appearance in 21 years. Lead  Baltimore to first ever World Series championship in 1966.  Also won the Triple Crown in 1966.
    Joe DiMaggio 2 1941, 1947 In 1941 Joe had 56 game hit streak & beat Ted Williams for MVP who was last player to hit .400  in a season.
    Juan González 2 1996, 1998 Hit 91 HR's over those two MVP seasons.
    Robin Yount 2 1982, 1989 Won in 1982 playing shortstop & in 1989 as a center fielder
    Ted Williams 2 1946, 1949 Batted .200 with no HR in 1946, Ted's only World Series.  Ted won the Triple Crown in 1942 and 1947 while being runner-up for the MVP.
    Johnny Bench 2 1970, 1972 Catcher for "The Big Red Machine"
    Willie Mays 2 1954, 1965 Only player to win the award in two cities for the same franchise.  Longest lapse of time between MVP awards of all recipients.

MVP's by Franchise (I'll Betcha You Can Guess Who Is #1)

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     Rank      AL Team    # MVP's
     Rank       NL Team     # MVP's
    1 New York Yankees   20   1 St. Louis Cardinals   17
    2 Oakland Athletics   11   2 Cincinnati Reds   12
    3 Boston Red Sox   10   3 San Francisco Giants   12
    4 Detroit Tigers     9   4 Brooklyn Dodgers   10
    5 Texas Rangers     6   5 Chicago Cubs     8
    6 Baltimore Orioles     5   6 Philadelphia Phillies     7
    7 Minnesota Twins     5   7 Atlanta Braves     6
    8 Chicago White Sox     4   8 Pittsburgh Pirates     6
    9 Milwaukee Brewers   3 + 1   9 Colorado Rockies     1
    10 Anaheim Angels     2   10 Houston Astros     1
    11 Cleveland Indians     2   11 Milwaukee Brewers   1 + 3
    12 Seattle Mariners     2   12 San Diego Padres     1
    13 Kansas City Royals    1     Arizona D'Backs     0
    14 Toronto Blue Jays    1     NY Mets     0
      Tampa Bay Rays    0     Washington Nat'ls     0

    Milwaukee Brewers have won 3 MVP awards in the AL and 1 MVP award in the NL.

MVP's by Position

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         AL      NL
    RHP      6      3
    LHP      6      6
    C      8      7
    1B     14     15
    2B      4       6
    3B      6      9
    SS      8      8
    OF     28     29
    DH       1    n/a

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