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Nippon Professional Baseball Most Valuable Player Award

Sadaharu Oh standing wearing a Japan national baseball team uniform during the 2006 World Baseball Classic
Sadaharu Oh, nine-time winner—more wins than any other player

The Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award (最優秀選手, Saiyūshūsenshu) is an honor given annually in baseball to two outstanding players in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), one each for the Central League and Pacific League.

Each league's award is voted on by national baseball writers.[1] Each voter places a vote for first, second, and third place among the players of each league. The formula used to calculate the final scores is a weighted sum of the votes.[A] The player with the highest score in each league wins the award.[2]

The first recipient of the award was Eiji Sawamura,[3] and the most recent winners are Alex Ramírez, from the Central League, and Yu Darvish, from the Pacific League.[4][5] In 1940, Victor Starffin became the first player to win the award consecutively and multiple times.[3] Eiji Sawamura and Kazuhisa Inao are the youngest players to receive the awards in 1937 and 1957, respectively, at the ages of 20.[6] In 1988, Hiromitsu Kadota became the oldest player to receive the award at the age of 40.[7]

The most recent winners of the award are Yoshihiro Maru of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp and Dennis Sarfate of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.

Contents

KeyEdit

Position
players
RBIs Runs batted in
AVG Batting average
Pitchers Record Record of decisions (tie games are omitted)
Saves Number of saves[B]
ERA Earned run average
(#) Indicates number of times winning MVP Award (if multiple winner)
* Elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame[8]

WinnersEdit

Japanese Baseball League (1937–1949)Edit

 
Haruyasu Nakajima won one MVP award before NPB was formed in 1950.
Year Player Team Position Selected statistics Notes
1937
(Spring)
Eiji Sawamura* Tokyo Kyojin Pitcher [9]
1937
(Fall)
Harris McGalliard Korakuen Eagles Catcher [10]
1938
(Spring)
Hisanori Karita* Tokyo Senators Second baseman [11]
1938
(Fall)
Haruyasu Nakajima* Tokyo Kyojin Outfielder [12]
1939 Victor Starffin* Tokyo Kyojin Pitcher [13]
1940 Victor Starffin* (2) Tokyo Kyojin Pitcher [14]
1941 Tetsuharu Kawakami* Tokyo Kyojin First baseman [15]
1942 Shigeru Mizuhara* Tokyo Kyojin Third baseman
1943 Shosei Go* Tokyo Kyojin Outfielder [16]
1944 Tadashi Wakabayashi* Hanshin Pitcher [17]
1945 Z
Season canceled[C]
Z Z Z
1946 Kazuto Yamamoto* Great Ring First baseman [18]
1947 Tadashi Wakabayashi* (2) Osaka Tigers Pitcher [19]
1948 Kazuto Yamamoto* (2) Nankai Hawks Third baseman [20]
1949 Fumio Fujimura* Osaka Tigers Third baseman [21]

Nippon Professional Baseball (1950–present)Edit

Central LeagueEdit

 
Michihiro Ogasawara is one of only two players to win the award in the Central and Pacific Leagues.
 
Masumi Kuwata, 1994 CL winner
 
Kei Igawa, 2003 CL winner
 
Kosuke Fukudome, 2006 CL winner
Year Player Team Position Selected statistics
1950 Makoto Kozuru* Shochiku Robins Outfielder
1951 Tetsuharu Kawakami* (2) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1952 Takehiko Bessho* Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1953 Takumi Otomo Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1954 Shigeru Sugishita* Chunichi Dragons Pitcher
1955 Tetsuharu Kawakami* (3) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1956 Takehiko Bessho* (2) Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1957 Wally Yonamine* Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
1958 Motoshi Fujita* Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1959 Motoshi Fujita* (2) Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1960 Noboru Akiyama* Taiyo Whales Pitcher
1961 Shigeo Nagashima* Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
1962 Minoru Murayama* Osaka Tigers Pitcher
1963 Shigeo Nagashima* (2) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
1964 Sadaharu Oh* Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1965 Sadaharu Oh* (2) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1966 Shigeo Nagashima* (3) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
1967 Sadaharu Oh* (3) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1968 Shigeo Nagashima* (4) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
1969 Sadaharu Oh* (4) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1970 Sadaharu Oh* (5) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1971 Shigeo Nagashima* (5) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
1972 Tsuneo Horiuchi* Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1973 Sadaharu Oh* (6) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1974 Sadaharu Oh* (7) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1975 Koji Yamamoto* Hiroshima Toyo Carp Outfielder
1976 Sadaharu Oh* (8) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1977 Sadaharu Oh* (9) Yomiuri Giants First baseman
1978 Tsutomu Wakamatsu* Yakult Swallows Outfielder
1979 Yutaka Enatsu Hiroshima Toyo Carp Relief pitcher
1980 Koji Yamamoto* (2) Hiroshima Toyo Carp Outfielder
1981 Suguru Egawa Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1982 Takayoshi Nakao Chunichi Dragons Catcher
1983 Tatsunori Hara Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
1984 Sachio Kinugasa* Hiroshima Toyo Carp Third baseman
1985 Randy Bass Hanshin Tigers First baseman
1986 Manabu Kitabeppu* Hiroshima Toyo Carp Starting pitcher
1987 Kazuhiro Yamakura Yomiuri Giants Catcher
1988 Genji Kaku Chunichi Dragons Relief pitcher
1989 Warren Cromartie Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
1990 Masaki Saito* Yomiuri Giants Starting pitcher
1991 Shinji Sasaoka Hiroshima Toyo Carp Pitcher
1992 Jack Howell Yakult Swallows Third baseman
1993 Atsuya Furuta* Yakult Swallows Catcher
1994 Masumi Kuwata Yomiuri Giants Pitcher
1995 Tom O'Malley Yakult Swallows First baseman
1996 Hideki Matsui* Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
1997 Atsuya Furuta* (2) Yakult Swallows Catcher
1998 Kazuhiro Sasaki* Yokohama BayStars Relief pitcher
1999 Shigeki Noguchi Chunichi Dragons Starting pitcher
2000 Hideki Matsui* (2) Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
2001 Roberto Petagine Yakult Swallows First baseman
2002 Hideki Matsui* (3) Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
2003 Kei Igawa Hanshin Tigers Starting pitcher
2004 Kenshin Kawakami Chunichi Dragons Starting pitcher
2005 Tomoaki Kanemoto Hanshin Tigers Outfielder
2006 Kosuke Fukudome Chunichi Dragons Outfielder
2007 Michihiro Ogasawara (2) Yomiuri Giants Third baseman
2008 Alex Ramírez Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
2009 Alex Ramírez (2) Yomiuri Giants Outfielder
2010 Kazuhiro Wada Chunichi Dragons Outfielder
2011 Takuya Asao Chunichi Dragons Relief pitcher
2012 Shinnosuke Abe Yomiuri Giants Catcher
2013 Wladimir Balentien Tokyo Yakult Swallows Outfielder
2014 Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants Starting pitcher
2015 Tetsuto Yamada Tokyo Yakult Swallows Second baseman
2016 Takahiro Arai Hiroshima Toyo Carp First baseman
2017 Yoshihiro Maru Hiroshima Toyo Carp Outfielder

Pacific LeagueEdit

 
Hiromitsu Ochiai, two-time PL winner
 
Nobuhiko Matsunaka, two-time PL winner
 
Hideo Nomo, 1990 PL winner
 
Kenji Johjima, 2003 PL winner
 
Yu Darvish, 2007 PL winner
Year Player Team Position Selected statistics
1950 Kaoru Betto* Mainichi Orions Outfielder
1951 Kazuto Yamamoto* (3) Nankai Hawks Second baseman
1952 Susumu Yuki Nankai Hawks Pitcher
1953 Isami Okamoto Nankai Hawks Second baseman
1954 Hiroshi Oshita* Nishitetsu Lions Outfielder
1955 Tokuji Iida* Nankai Hawks Outfielder
1956 Futoshi Nakanishi* Nishitetsu Lions Third baseman
1957 Kazuhisa Inao* Nishitetsu Lions Pitcher
1958 Kazuhisa Inao* (2) Nishitetsu Lions Pitcher
1959 Tadashi Sugiura* Nankai Hawks Pitcher
1960 Kazuhiro Yamauchi* Mainichi Daimai Orions OF 103 .313
1961 Katsuya Nomura* Nankai Hawks C 89 .296
1962 Isao Harimoto* Toei Flyers OF 99 .333
1963 Katsuya Nomura* (2) Nankai Hawks C 135 .291
1964 Joe Stanka Nankai Hawks P 26–7 2.40
1965 Katsuya Nomura* (3) Nankai Hawks C 110 .320
1966 Katsuya Nomura* (4) Nankai Hawks C 97 .312
1967 Mitsuhiro Adachi Hankyu Braves P 20–10 1.75
1968 Tetsuya Yoneda* Hankyu Braves P 29–13 2.79
1969 Tokuji Nagaike Hankyu Braves OF 101 .316
1970 Masaaki Kitaru Lotte Orions P 21–10 2.53
1971 Tokuji Nagaike (2) Hankyu Braves OF 114 .317
1972 Yutaka Fukumoto* Hankyu Braves OF 40 .301
1973 Katsuya Nomura* (5) Nankai Hawks C 96 .309
1974 Tomehiro Kaneda Lotte Orions P 16–7 0 2.90
1975 Hideji Kato Hankyu Braves 1B 97 .309
1976 Hisashi Yamada* Hankyu Braves P 26–7 5 2.39
1977 Hisashi Yamada* (2) Hankyu Braves P 16–10 7 2.28
1978 Hisashi Yamada* (3) Hankyu Braves P 18–4 4 2.66
1979 Charlie Manuel Kintetsu Buffaloes OF 94 .324
1980 Isamu Kida Nippon-Ham Fighters P 22–8 4 2.28
1981 Yutaka Enatsu (2) Nippon-Ham Fighters P 3–6 25 2.82
1982 Hiromitsu Ochiai* Lotte Orions 2B 99 .325
1983 Osamu Higashio* Seibu Lions P 18–9 2 2.92
1984 Greg Wells Hankyu Braves 1B 130 .355
1985 Hiromitsu Ochiai* (2) Lotte Orions 3B 146 .367
1986 Hiromichi Ishige Seibu Lions SS 89 .329
1987 Osamu Higashio* (2) Seibu Lions P 15–9 0 2.59
1988 Hiromitsu Kadota* Nankai Hawks OF 125 .311
1989 Ralph Bryant Kintetsu Buffaloes OF 121 .283
1990 Hideo Nomo* Kintetsu Buffaloes P 18–8 0 2.91
1991 Taigen Kaku Seibu Lions P 15–6 1 2.59
1992 Takehiro Ishii Seibu Lions P 15–3 3 1.94
1993 Kimiyasu Kudoh* Seibu Lions P 15–3 0 2.06
1994 Ichiro Suzuki Orix BlueWave OF 54 .385
1995 Ichiro Suzuki (2) Orix BlueWave OF 80 .342
1996 Ichiro Suzuki (3) Orix BlueWave OF 84 .356
1997 Fumiya Nishiguchi Seibu Lions P 15–5 1 3.12
1998 Kazuo Matsui Seibu Lions SS 58 .311
1999 Kimiyasu Kudoh* (2) Fukuoka Daiei Hawks P 11–7 0 2.38
2000 Nobuhiko Matsunaka Fukuoka Daiei Hawks 1B 106 .312
2001 Tuffy Rhodes Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes OF 131 .327
2002 Alex Cabrera Seibu Lions 1B 115 .336
2003 Kenji Johjima Fukuoka Daiei Hawks C 119 .330
2004 Nobuhiko Matsunaka (2) Fukuoka Daiei Hawks 1B 120 .358
2005 Toshiya Sugiuchi Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks P 18–4 0 2.11
2006 Michihiro Ogasawara Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 1B 100 .312
2007 Yu Darvish Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters P 15–5 0 1.82
2008 Hisashi Iwakuma Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles P 21–4 0 1.87
2009 Yu Darvish (2) Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters P 15–5 0 1.73
2010 Tsuyoshi Wada Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks P 17–8 0 3.14
2011 Seiichi Uchikawa Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 1B 145 .338
2012 Mitsuo Yoshikawa Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters P 14–5 0 1.71
2013 Masahiro Tanaka Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles P 24–0 1 1.27
2014 Chihiro Kaneko Orix Buffaloes P 16–5 0 1.98
2015 Yuki Yanagita Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks OF .363 34 home runs 32 stolen bases
2016 Shohei Otani Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters P/DH .322 10–4 0 1.86
2017 Dennis Sarfate Fukuoka Softbank Hawks P - - 2–2 54 1.09

Multiple winnersEdit

 
Ichiro Suzuki, three-time consecutive winner
 
Hideki Matsui, three-time winner

There have been 22 players who have won the award multiple times. Sadaharu Oh currently holds the record for the most awards won, with nine. Hisashi Yamada (1976–1978) and Ichiro Suzuki (1994–1996) share the record for the most consecutive awards won. Yutaka Enatsu and Michihiro Ogasawara are the only players to have won the award in both the Central League and Pacific League. Alex Ramírez is the only non-Japanese player receive the award multiple times after the formation of two league system.

Player League # of Awards Seasons
Sadaharu Oh* Central 9 1964, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977
Shigeo Nagashima* Central 5 1961, 1963, 1966, 1968, 1971
Katsuya Nomura* Pacific 5 1961, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1973
Kazuto Yamamoto* JBL/Pacific[D] 3 1946, 1948, 1951
Tetsuharu Kawakami* JBL/Central[E] 3 1941, 1951, 1955
Hisashi Yamada* Pacific 3 1976, 1977, 1978
Ichiro Suzuki Pacific 3 1994, 1995, 1996
Hideki Matsui Central 3 1996, 2000, 2002
Victor Starffin* JBL 2 1939, 1940
Tadashi Wakabayashi* JBL 2 1944, 1947
Takehiko Bessho* Central 2 1952, 1956
Kazuhisa Inao* Pacific 2 1957, 1958
Motoshi Fujita* Central 2 1958, 1959
Tokuji Nagaike Pacific 2 1969, 1971
Koji Yamamoto* Central 2 1975, 1980
Yutaka Enatsu Both 2 1979, 1981
Hiromitsu Ochiai Pacific 2 1982, 1985
Osamu Higashio Pacific 2 1983, 1987
Atsuya Furuta Central 2 1993, 1997
Kimiyasu Kudoh Pacific 2 1993, 1999
Nobuhiko Matsunaka Pacific 2 2000, 2004
Michihiro Ogasawara Both 2 2006, 2007
Yu Darvish Pacific 2 2007, 2009
Alex Ramírez Central 2 2008, 2009

NotesEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

General
  • 1リーグ 最優秀選手 (in Japanese). Sports Hochi. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  • セ・リーグ 最優秀選手 (in Japanese). Sports Hochi. Archived from the original on August 12, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  • パ・リーグ 最優秀選手 (in Japanese). Sports Hochi. Archived from the original on August 12, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
Specific
  1. ^ Nagatsuka, Kaz (November 15, 2006). "Ogasawara, Fukudome given MVP awards for 2006 season". The Japan Times. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b 2008年度 表彰選手 投票結果(最優秀選手) (in Japanese). NPB. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b 1リーグ 最優秀選手 (in Japanese). Sports Hochi. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  4. ^ セ・リーグ 最優秀選手 (in Japanese). Sports Hochi. Archived from the original on August 12, 2010. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  5. ^ パ・リーグ 最優秀選手 (in Japanese). Sports Hochi. Archived from the original on August 12, 2010. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Darvish, Ogasawara earn MVP honors". The Japan Times. November 21, 2007. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Kadota, Hiromitsu". The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Hall of Famers List". The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  9. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 14.
  10. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 16.
  11. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 19.
  12. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 21.
  13. ^ 1939年 (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  14. ^ 1940年 (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  15. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 31.
  16. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 36.
  17. ^ 1944年 (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  18. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 41.
  19. ^ 1947年 (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  20. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 46.
  21. ^ Johnson 2006, p. 49.
  22. ^ 1974年 (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Archived from the original on June 1, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  23. ^ Fitts, Robert K. (September 2008). Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball. University of Nebraska Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-8032-1381-6. 

ReferencesEdit

  • Johnson, Daniel E. (July 2006). Japanese Baseball: A Statistical Handbook. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-2841-0.