Harper, Don­ald­son win Base­ball ‘Most Valu­able Player awards’

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

NEW YORK: Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als out­fielder Bryce Harper and Toronto Blue Jays third base­man Josh Don­ald­son were named Thurs­day as win­ners of Ma­jor League Base­ball’s 2015 Most Valu­able Player awards. Harper cap­tured the prize for the Na­tional League unan­i­mously, gar­ner­ing all 30 first-place votes and a per­fect 420 points from a me­dia panel, while Don­ald­son took the honor in the Amer­i­can League with 23 first-place bal­lots and 385 to­tal points. Harper, 23, be­came the youngest unan­i­mous Most Valu­able Player, the youngest NL Most Valu­able Player since Cincin­nati Reds catcher Johnny Bench in 1970 and third-youngest NL MVP over­all af­ter Bench and St Louis Car­di­nals leg­end Stan Mu­sial in 1943.

Harper led the NL with 42 home runs, shar­ing the top spot with Colorado’s Nolan Are­nado, and 118 runs scored and was sec­ond in bat­ting av­er­age (.330) and walks (124). The only other player in Na­tional League history to fin­ish in the top two in all four of those ar­eas in the same sea­son was the late 1920s star Rogers Hornsby, who did it twice. He be­comes the first Most Valu­able Player in the history of the Na­tion­als fran­chise, which be­gan in 1969 as the Mon­treal Ex­pos and moved to Wash­ing­ton be­fore the start of the 2005 sea­son. Ari­zona Di­a­mond­backs first base­man Paul Gold­schmidt was sec­ond in the NL vot­ing on 234 points with Cincin­nati Reds first base­man Joey Votto third on 175.

All three Na­tional League vote lead­ers for the MVP award were from teams that failed to make the play­offs, some­thing that hasn’t hap­pened since 1959. Don­ald­son joined Ge­orge Bell from 1987 as the only MVPs in Blue Jays history as Toronto reached the play­offs for the first time since win­ning the World Se­ries in 1993. Don­ald­son led the ma­jor leagues in runs scored with 122, led the Amer­i­can League with 123 runs bat­ted in and shared third in the AL with 41 homers while bat­ting .297. Trail­ing Don­ald­son for the AL award were Los An­ge­les An­gels out­fielder Mike Trout, with seven first-place votes and 304 points over­all, and Kansas City Roy­als out­fielder Lorenzo Cain, who had 225 points but helped his club cap­ture the World Se­ries for the first time in 30 years. — AFP

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