American League MVPs by Year—1970s
The ‘70s featured some great teams in Oakland, Baltimore, New York and Boston, and some great players from those teams. Here is a list of the AL MVP Award winners from that decade:
1979-Don Baylor, California Angels
Most folks know Don Baylor as a manager these days, but those old enough will also remember that Baylor was one heck of a ball player. In 1979, Baylor helped the Angels reach the postseason, and won the AL MVP Award himself by hitting .296 with career highs in home runs (39) and runs batted in (139). Baylor also had 33 doubles, 22 stolen bases, 120 runs scored, an on base average of .371 and a slugging percentage of .530.
1978-Jim Rice, Boston Red Sox
With 20 first-place votes, Boston outfielder Jim Rice won the AL MVP in 1978 by about 60 points over New York pitcher Ron Guidry. Rice had career highs in homers with 46, RBI with 139, and also batted .315 with 25 doubles, 15 triples, 121 runs scored, and a slugging percentage of .600.
1977-Rod Carew, Minnesota Twins
Rod Carew was in contention for the AL MVP Award several times, but 1977 was the only year he won it. A career .328 hitter, Carew won the award in 1977 by hitting .388 with 239 hits, 128 runs scored, 38 doubles, 16 triples, 14 home runs, 100 runs batted in, 23 stolen bases and an on base percentage of .449.
1976-Thurman Munson, New York Yankees
Before he tragically passed away in a plane crash in 1979, Thurman Munson had some great years in leading the Yankees to three straight World Series appearances. Munson took home the American League MVP in 1976 by hitting .302 with 17 homers and 105 RBI. Munson also had 27 doubles, 14 stolen bases, and a .981 fielding percentage as a catcher.
1975-Fred Lynn, Boston Red Sox
With Fred Lynn and Jim Rice coming up in the ‘70s, Boston had the nucleus of a great team. In 1975, Lynn helped the Sox reach the World Series, and won the AL MVP by hitting .331 with 21 homers, 105 RBI, 47 doubles, 7 triples, 103 runs scored, and a slugging percentage of .566.
1974-Jeff Burroughs, Texas Rangers
There were quite a few players sharing votes in 1974, but Texas outfielder Jeff Burroughs won the AL MVP. That season, Burroughs batted .301 with 25 home runs, 118 RBI, 33 doubles and a .504 slugging percentage.
1973-Reggie Jackson, Oakland Athletics
It's hard to believe, but this was Reggie Jackson's only regular season MVP Award, as he took it home in 1973 while with Oakland. Jackson batted .293 with 32 homers, 117 runs batted in, 28 doubles, 22 stolen bases, 99 runs scored, and a slugging percentage of .531 in helping lead the A's to the second of three consecutive championships.
1972-Dick Allen, Chicago White Sox
White Sox infielder Dick Allen was one of the most feared sluggers of his time, and in 1972 he won the AL MVP Award. That season, Allen batted .308 with 37 home runs and a career high of 113 runs batted in. Allen added 28 doubles, 5 triples, 19 stolen bases, a .420 on base average and a .603 slugging percentage.
1971-Vida Blue, Oakland Athletics
Lefty Vida Blue burst onto the scene in the early ‘70s with a blazing fastball, winning both the Cy Young and MVP Awards in the American League in 1971. Blue went 24-8 that season, with a 1.82 ERA, and 301 strikeouts in 312 innings pitched, adding 24 complete games with 8 shutouts.
1970-Boog Powell, Baltimore Orioles
First baseman Boog Powell was one of the anchors of some great Orioles' teams in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Powell won the AL MVP Award in 1970 by hitting .297 with 35 homers and 114 RBI. He added 28 doubles, and had a .549 slugging percentage.