Finals MVPs that Couldn't Win
All four major North American men's sports have MVP awards for their Finals. And all of them usually give the award to a player that is on the team that won the title. I discussed the NHL's bizarre Conn Smythe Winner/Losers, which happened five times! For the other three sports (MLB, NBA, NFL), it's only occurred once. So let's talk about them.
MLB: Bobby Richardson 1960
The New York Yankees lost in seven games to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The reason Bobby Richardson won this award boils down to the voting. In the 1960s World Series, voting on the MVP was done before the game concluded. Richardson lead all batters with 12 RBI and the Yankees were up at the time of voting. The Yankees went on to lose 9-10, but Richardson still kept the trophy. Fun fact: the Yankees outscored the Pirates by 28 runs and still lost!
NBA: Jerry West 1969
The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games 3-4. Some fun notes, the Lakers outscored the Celtics by a cumulative total of three points. Jerry West averaged 38 points per game, and the Lakers lost game seven by two points. The voters decided to give Jerry West the award, rightfully so. He is the first Finals MVP winner, and the only player to do so on a losing team.
NFL: Chuck Howley 1971
In an ugly ugly Super Bowl between the Colts and the Cowboys, the Cowboys lost on a last second field goal 13-16. Chuck Howley had two interceptions, and in a game certainly not won by offense (the Colts had three interceptions and five fumbles), no issue giving it to a good defensive player!
It does appear for these leagues a Finals MVP on a losing squad is a thing of the past, so these players can all enjoy their place in history!
Tags: Bobby Richardson, Chuck Howley, Jerry West, MLB, MVP, NBA, NBA Finals, NFL, Super Bowl, World Series
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