Nippon Professional Baseball Most Valuable Player Award
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. 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.
The first recipient of the award was Eiji Sawamura, and the most recent winners are Alex Ramírez, from the Central League, and Yu Darvish, from the Pacific League. In 1940, Victor Starffin became the first player to win the award consecutively and multiple times. Eiji Sawamura and Kazuhisa Inao are the youngest players to receive the awards in 1937 and 1957, respectively, at the ages of 20. In 1988, Hiromitsu Kadota became the oldest player to receive the award at the age of 40.
|RBIs||Runs batted in|
|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|
Japanese Baseball League (1937–1949)Edit
|Eiji Sawamura*||Tokyo Kyojin||Pitcher|||
|Harris McGalliard||Korakuen Eagles||Catcher|||
|Hisanori Karita*||Tokyo Senators||Second baseman|||
|Haruyasu Nakajima*||Tokyo Kyojin||Outfielder|||
|1939||Victor Starffin*||Tokyo Kyojin||Pitcher|||
|1940||Victor Starffin* (2)||Tokyo Kyojin||Pitcher|||
|1941||Tetsuharu Kawakami*||Tokyo Kyojin||First baseman|||
|1942||Shigeru Mizuhara*||Tokyo Kyojin||Third baseman|
|1943||Shosei Go*||Tokyo Kyojin||Outfielder|||
|1946||Kazuto Yamamoto*||Great Ring||First baseman|||
|1947||Tadashi Wakabayashi* (2)||Osaka Tigers||Pitcher|||
|1948||Kazuto Yamamoto* (2)||Nankai Hawks||Third baseman|||
|1949||Fumio Fujimura*||Osaka Tigers||Third baseman|||
Nippon Professional Baseball (1950–present)Edit
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|
|Yoshihiro Maru||Central||2||2017, 2018|
- A The formula is: Score = 5F + 3S + T, where F is the number of first place votes, S is second place votes, and T is third place votes.
- B The save statistic was not formally recorded in the NPB until the 1974 season.
- C The 1945 Japanese Baseball League season was cancelled due to World War II.
- D After 1958, Kazuto Yamamoto became known as Kazuto Tsuruoka.
- E Tetsuharu Kawakami received his first MVP award in 1941, nine years before the formation of Nippon Professional Baseball.
- Nagatsuka, Kaz (November 15, 2006). "Ogasawara, Fukudome given MVP awards for 2006 season". The Japan Times. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
- 2008年度 表彰選手 投票結果（最優秀選手） (in Japanese). NPB. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
- １リーグ 最優秀選手 (in Japanese). Sports Hochi. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Darvish, Ogasawara earn MVP honors". The Japan Times. November 21, 2007. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
- "Kadota, Hiromitsu". The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
- "Hall of Famers List". The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
- Johnson 2006, p. 14.
- Johnson 2006, p. 16.
- Johnson 2006, p. 19.
- Johnson 2006, p. 21.
- 1939年 (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
- 1940年 (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
- Johnson 2006, p. 31.
- Johnson 2006, p. 36.
- 1944年 (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
- Johnson 2006, p. 41.
- 1947年 (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
- Johnson 2006, p. 46.
- Johnson 2006, p. 49.
- 1974年 (in Japanese). Nippon Professional Baseball. Archived from the original on June 1, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
- Fitts, Robert K. (September 2008). Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball. University of Nebraska Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-8032-1381-6.