National League MVPs by Year—1990s
In the National League in the 1990's, Barry Bonds began his run of collecting MVP awards, winning three of them in the early part of the decade. But there were other great players in the nineties, as this list of National League MVP winners of the 1990's will attest to.
1999-Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves
Chipper Jones has had a long and consistent career so far, but 1999 marked the only time the Atlanta third baseman won the NL MVP Award. Jones won in a landslide over Houston's Jeff Bagwell by batting .319 with a career high 45 home runs and 110 runs batted in. Jones also hit 41 doubles, stole a career best 25 bases, had a slugging percentage of .633 and an on-base percentage of .441 in leading the Braves to the National League championship.
1998-Sammy Sosa, Chicago Cubs
This was controversial to some degree, because 1998 was the same year that Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris' long-standing home run record with 70. Still, Chicago's Sammy Sosa beat out McGwire because he had more complete numbers-66 homers, 158 RBI and .308 batting average with a .647 slugging percentage. It was Sosa's only MVP award, and it came in a season that featured one of the most exciting home run races ever between he and McGwire.
1997-Larry Walker, Colorado Rockies
True, he played in the hitter's haven of Coors Field, but that doesn't mean Larry Walker didn't hit the cover off the baseball. And in 1997, Walker had his best season ever, finishing with a league runner-up .366 average (Tony Gwynn hit .372), and clubbing 49 home runs with 130 runs batted in. He also had career highs in doubles (46), stolen bases (33) and slugging percentage (.720) in beating out the Dodger's Mike Piazza for the MVP by a comfortable margin.
1996-Ken Caminiti, San Diego Padres
Sadly, former third baseman Ken Caminiti passed away in 2004. But many remember what an incredible player the infielder was, and in 1996 Caminiti won the NL MVP while with San Diego. That year, he hit .326 with 40 homers, 37 doubles and 130 RBI-all career highs. Los Angeles catcher Mike Piazza finished second, the first of two consecutive years that he was a runner-up.
1995-Barry Larkin, Cincinnati Reds
Playing shortstop for the Reds from 1996 to 2004, Barry Larkin was one of baseball's most consistent and highly underrated players. But in 1995, Larkin was voted the NL's Most Valuable Player when he hit .319 with 15 homers and 66 RBI. None of those are close to being career highs, but Larkin also hit 29 doubles and 6 triples, stole a career high of 51 bases and posted a .980 fielding percentage. Larkin won in a close vote over Colorado's Dante Bichette and Atlanta pitcher Greg Maddux.
1994-Jeff Bagwell, Houston Astros
Jeff Bagwell is another player who had a long career, playing all of his major league games with Houston from 1991-2005 and posting a .297 career batting average. In 1994 though, Bagwell won his only MVP Award, by hitting a career high .368 with 39 home runs and 116 RBI. He also hit 32 doubles, stole 15 bases and posted a .750 slugging percentage.
1993-Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants
In 1993, Barry Bonds' first with the Giants, he won the third of his seven NL MVP Awards. That season, Bonds batted .336 with 46 homers and 123 runs batted in. He added 38 doubles, 4 triples, 29 stolen bases, and had an on-base average of .458 and a slugging percentage of .677.
1992-Barry Bonds, Pittsburgh Pirates
1992 was Barry Bonds' final year in Pittsburgh, but he won his second NL MVP Award that season by batting .311 with 34 home runs and 130 RBI. Bonds also had 36 doubles, 5 triples and 39 stolen bases.
1991-Terry Pendleton, Atlanta Braves
Braves' third baseman Terry Pendleton took home the NL MVP Award in 1991, when he led the Braves to the World Series for the first time in decades. Pendleton beat out Pittsburgh outfielder Barry Bonds by a slim margin, but his overall numbers helped his cause--.319 batting average, 22 homers, 86 RBI, 34 doubles, 8 triples, and 94 runs scored.
1990-Barry Bonds, Pittsburgh Pirates
Barry Bonds won his first of seven NL MVP Awards in 1990, winning in a fairly close race with teammate Bobby Bonilla. That season, Bonds hit .301 with 33 home runs and 114 RBI. He also stole a career high of 52 bases, and had 32 doubles with 104 runs scored.