NEW YORK -- Texas Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez became the second player from a last-place team to win a Most Valuable Player award, beating Carlos Delgado and Jorge Posada in American League voting announced Monday.
Rodriguez received 242 points in voting by the
Baseball Writers' Association of America. Delgado had 210 points
and Posada 194.
"It means the world to me," Rodriguez said. "I'm so proud. It
really is a validation to all the hard work and dedication."
Showing the split among the writers, 10 players received
first-place votes, matching the record set in the 1947 NL vote
and one short of the 1977 AL vote.
Rodriguez was picked first on six ballots, the fewest for an MVP
winner since the New York Yankees' Mickey Mantle in 1957. Delgado and
Posada got five firsts each.
The only other player on a last-place team to win an MVP was the Chicago Cubs' Andre Dawson in 1987. Texas went 71-91 this year and has finished last in the AL West in all three of his seasons with the Rangers.
"It's been a rough three years in Texas," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez, second in the voting in 1996 and last year, was the
only player picked on every ballot. He hit .298, tied for the major
league lead with 47 homers, and led the AL in runs (124) and
slugging percentage (.600). He had 118 RBI, second in the AL to
Rodriguez was in his third season with Texas, which finished
last in the AL West at 71-91. He joined the Rangers after the 2000
season when Texas gave him a record $252 million, 10-year contract
and has led the league in homers in all three years.
Delgado hit .302 with 42 homers for Toronto, while Posada batted
.281 for the Yankees with 30 homers and 101 RBI.
"Obviously, I was expecting to get the award and that wasn't
the case," Delgado said. "If they were going to pick somebody
from a team that did not make it to the playoffs I think it would
have given me an edge, but that's what I get for thinking, I guess."
Delgado got two eighth-place votes and was left off the ballot
by Joe Cowley of the Daily Southtown in Chicago. Cowley also left
off Toronto center fielder Vernon Wells, while including Esteban Loaiza and Frank Thomas of the White Sox.
"I don't understand who they vote for," Delgado said. "What
team you are watching?"
Rodriguez gets a $500,000 bonus added to his $21 million salary,
and Stewart gets $25,000 for finishing fourth.
Rodriguez, the first AL MVP since 1979 without a .300 batting
average, didn't think he would win this year.
"I felt like I was driving myself crazy over this award," he
Because he finished 10th, Seattle second baseman Bret Boone gets
an automatic $250,000 raise to $8.25 million.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.