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League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award

League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award

Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award (MVP)
The Most Valuable Player award
Awarded for Major League Baseball's Championship Series MVP
Presented by Baseball Writers Association of America
First awarded 1980
Currently held by Cody Ross, National League
Josh Hamilton, American League

League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award

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 six Hall of Famers to win LCS MVPs include 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). Five 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, the 2008 NLCS MVP, was the last to accomplish the double win, posting a 4–0 record (1.80 earned run average, 30 strikeouts) in the 2008 post-season. The 2009 winners were Ryan Howard and CC Sabathia. 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, 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 and his half-brother, Orlando Hernández, are the only family pair to have won the award.

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Tagged:
2009 ALCS MVP, American League Championship Series, Cody Ross, Josh Hamilton, NLCS MVP

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