Baseball awards date back to game’s earliest days
There is no more time-honored tradition among baseball fans than arguing over the most deserving award winners at the end of every season.
For more than a century, that debate has largely centered around who's considered the Most Valuable Player in each league. The roots of the MVP award, baseball's oldest and most prestigious individual honor, date back to the late 1800s.
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For example, there's the Mel Ott Award (for the National League's home run leader), the Lou Brock Award (stolen-base champions), the Hank Aaron Award (top hitters in each league), the Edgar Martinez Award (top DH), the Ted Williams Award (MVP of the All-Star Game) and the Tony Gwynn and Rod Carew Awards (batting champions in each league).
Even some lesser-known ballplayers have prestigious awards named after them. The Tip O'Neill Award, whose namesake was a Triple Crown-winning outfielder in the 19th century, honors the top Canadian-born ballplayer in the major leagues. Meanwhile, the Fred Hutchinson Award was established in honor of the inspirational pennant-winning Cincinnati Reds manager who died of cancer at age 45.
Jacob Pomrenke is the Society for American Baseball Research's director of editorial content