National League MVPs by Year—1970s
When you think ‘70s baseball in the National League, you think of great teams like the Big Red Machine in Cincinnati, the Amazing Mets, and talented teams in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. There were some great individual players as well, and here is a list of the NL MVP winners from that decade:
1979-Keith Hernandez, St. Louis Cardinals and Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh Pirates
Though Cardinals' first baseman Keith Hernandez had more first-place votes, he wound up in a tie in total points for the NL MVP in 1979 with Pittsburgh first baseman Willie Stargell. Hernandez hit .344 with 11 homers, 105 RBI, 48 doubles, 11 triples, 116 runs scored and a .417 on base average. Stargell helped the Pirates to a World Series title, hitting .281 with 32 homers, 82 RBI, 19 doubles and a .552 slugging percentage.
1978-Dave Parker, Pittsburgh Pirates
Pirates' outfielder Dave Parker was about as intimidating as anyone that came to the plate, and in 1978 he won the National League MVP. That season, Parker hit .334 with 30 homers, 117 runs batted in, 32 doubles, 12 triples, 20 stolen bases, a .585 slugging percentage and 12 outfield assists.
1977-George Foster, Cincinnati Reds
Even though Reds' outfielder George Foster led the league with 52 home runs in 1977, the NL MVP vote was fairly close, with Foster edging out Philadelphia's Greg Luzinski. But Foster's numbers spoke for themselves. He hit .320 with the 52 homers, 149 RBI, 31 doubles, and a .631 slugging percentage.
1976-Joe Morgan, Cincinnati Reds
Reds' second baseman Joe Morgan was a big reason the Big Red Machine had so much success in the ‘70s. In 1976, he helped the Reds win a World Series, their second straight, by also taking home his second NL MVP in a row. Morgan batted .320 with 27 homers, 111 RBI, 30 doubles, 60 stolen bases, an on-base average of .444 and slugging percentage of .576. Morgan also posted a .981 fielding percentage, earning him a Gold Glove Award.
1975-Joe Morgan, Cincinnati Reds
Morgan won his first of two straight NL MVP Awards in 1975, and the first of three straight for the Reds. That year, Morgan hit .327 with 17 home runs, 94 runs batted in, 27 doubles, 67 stolen bases, .466 on base average and .508 slugging percentage. He also had a .986 fielding percentage, earning the Gold Glove.
1974-Steve Garvey, Los Angeles Dodgers
In a fairly close vote over the Cardinals' Lou Brock, Dodgers' first baseman Steve Garvey took home the NL MVP in 1974 by hitting .312 with 21 home runs, 111 RBI, 32 doubles, and 95 runs scored. Garvey also had a .342 on base average and .469 slugging percentage in leading the Dodgers to the World Series.
1973-Pete Rose, Cincinnati Reds
In a close vote over Pittsburgh's Willie Stargell, the Reds' Pete Rose won, amazingly, his only NL MVP Award in 1973. That season, in leading the Reds to the NL West crown, Rose batted .338 with 230 hits, 115 runs, 36 doubles, 8 triples, 5 homers, 64 RBI, and a .401 on base average. He also posted a .992 fielding percentage.
1972-Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds
In winning his second NL MVP of the decade, as well as the second of six for the Reds in the ‘70s, catcher Johnny Bench helped his team reach the World Series once again in 1972. Bench batted .270 with 40 homers, 125 runs batted in, 22 doubles, a .379 on-base average and a .541 slugging percentage. Bench also won a Gold Glove.
1971-Joe Torre, St. Louis Cardinals
Many think of Joe Torre as a great manager, and he is. But Torre was one heck of a hitter in his playing days, and in 1971 he won the National League MVP by hitting .363 (career high) with 24 homers, 137 RBI (also career high), 230 hits, 97 runs, 34 doubles, 8 triples, an on base average of .421 and a slugging percentage of .555.
1970-Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds
In 1970, Reds' catcher Johnny Bench won the first of his two NL MVP Awards, and helped the Reds reach the World Series. That season, Bench hit .293 with career highs in home runs (45) and RBI (148). Bench also had 35 doubles, 97 runs scored, and a .587 slugging percentage.