Triply crowned: Bonds is MVP Giant becomes first to win three in 4 years

November 10, 1993|By Tim Keown | Tim Keown,San Francisco Chronicle

Barry Bonds was named the Most Valuable Player in the National League, although it's hard to imagine anybody needing to wait until early November to find that out.

This one has some historical significance for Bonds, who has grown accustomed to having his offseason interrupted by the award. It was his third in the last four years and his second straight. With this one, he becomes the eighth player in the history of the game to win three MVP awards.

Nobody has won four, and Bonds brought that topic up himself.

"I'm going for No. 4," he said in a conference call yesterday from Southern California. "It's something I want. That's why I started training early -- November 1. My trainer's working me harder than ever before. I'm just afraid the media is going to make me do inhuman feats to win four."

Bonds was an overwhelming, but not unanimous, selection in the voting conducted by 28 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. He received 24 of the 28 first-place votes and was second on the four remaining ballots.

The last Giant to win the award was Kevin Mitchell in 1989. (Earlier S.F. Giants winners were Willie Mays in 1965 and Willie McCovey in 1969).

Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Lenny Dykstra, whose candidacy gained momentum when the Giants and Bonds faded briefly late in the season, received four first-place votes and finished second in the voting. Three Atlanta Braves -- outfielder David Justice, first baseman Fred McGriff and outfielder Ron Gant -- completed the top five.

Giants third baseman Matt Williams finished sixth in the voting.

Bonds hit .336 with 46 homers and 123 RBIs, by far his best statistical season. In fact, those numbers would have won the TC National League's Triple Crown in five of the past seven seasons. He also led the league in both slugging and on-base percentage, a combination that hadn't occurred since Stan Musial did it in 1948.

Bonds said the MVP awards will remain slightly hollow until he plays for a team that wins the World Series, or at least gets there. With that in mind, he made it clear that he is looking for the Giants to re-sign free agents Will Clark and Robby Thompson.

"When the media categorize you as one of the best, you never really get to that elite class until you win," Bonds said. "There were guys who weren't in Ernie Banks' class who you hear about because they won.

"I feel that if the owners keep this team together, we have a chance to be a dynasty ballclub. I didn't come there to go backwards. I really hope they find a way to keep Will and Robby. You've got to take what you've got now and go with it. I've been in Pittsburgh; I've seen what happens when a team gets demolished, and I'd hate to see that happen in San Francisco."

The list of players who have not won three MVP awards is long and illustrious, and it includes Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Pete Rose.

"This one was the best," Bonds said. "They have to get better. This one is the best because I came home.

"I can't say I'm ranked (with Hall of Famers) yet. I'll just take it one day and one year at a time. I don't want to sound like a movie script, but I'm saying I just want to enjoy this one and then get ready for next season."

Bonds was remarkably consistent in his first season as a Giant. He hit just one rough spot during the season, and it came as the team struggled through the early days of September. He came back strong late in the season as the Giants won 14 of 17 games to take the Atlanta Braves to the final day of the season.

TRIPLE PLAY

By winning his third National League MVP Award in four years, Barry Bonds (above) earned his place among the game's elite. The list of players who have won three MVP awards:

Player ........... Years

Jimmie Foxx ...... 1932, 1933, 1938

Joe DiMaggio ..... 1939, 1941, 1947

Stan Musial ...... 1943, 1946, 1948

Yogi Berra ....... 1951, 1954, 1955

R. Campanella .... 1951, 1953, 1955

Mickey Mantle .... 1956, 1957, 1962

Mike Schmidt ..... 1980, 1981, 1986

Bonds ...... ..... 1990, 1992, 1993

NL MVP VOTING

Voting for the 1993 National League Most Valuable Player Award with player's name, team, place on each ballot and total points:

Player .......... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... Pts

Bonds, SF ...... 24 ... 4 ... - ... 372

Dykstra, Phi .... 4 .. 20 ... 3 ... 267

Justice, Atl .... - ... 3 ... 5 ... 183

McGriff, Atl .... - ... 1 .. 12 ... 177

Gant, Atl ....... - ... - ... 8 ... 176

Williams, SF .... - ... - ... - ... 103

Daulton, Phi .... - ... - ... - .... 79

Grissom, Mtl .... - ... - ... - .... 66

Piazza, LA ...... - ... - ... - .... 49

Galarraga,Col ... - ... - ... - .... 45

Jefferies,StL ... - ... - ... - .... 28

Beck, SF ........ - ... - ... - .... 23

Maddux, Atl ..... - ... - ... - .... 17

Harvey, Fla ..... - ... - ... - .... 14

Thompsn,SF ...... - ... - ... - .... 11

Blauser, Atl .... - ... - ... - ..... 9

Kruk, Phi ....... - ... - ... - ..... 9

Grace, Chi ...... - ... - ... - ..... 8

Bell, Pit ....... - ... - ... - ..... 4

Bagwell, Hou .... - ... - ... - ..... 3

Gwynn, SD ....... - ... - ... - ..... 2

Myers, Chi ...... - ... - ... - ..... 2

Rijo, Cin ....... - ... - ... - ..... 2

Burkett, SF ..... - ... - ... - ..... 1

Glavine, Atl .... - ... - ... - ..... 1

Wettelnd,Mtl .... - ... - ... - ..... 1

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