Best non-MVP seasons in MLB history

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Longtime Atlanta Brave Greg Maddux has never won an MVP title, but has won 4 Cy Youngs and 18 Golden Gloves in his Hall of Fame career

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Greg Maddux has captivated audiences throughout his career, but he was especially special in 1995, recording 19 wins and just two losses, Maddux also led the National League in ERA (1.63), WHIP (.811), innings pitched (209.2), and WAR (9.6). Let’s focus on the latter, shall we?

Maddux posted a 9.6 WAR in 1995, the highest rating of any Majors pitcher that decade without the name Roger Clemens. It’s not enough to win an MVP on its own. What do you think the MVP winner WAR was that season, huh? Probably pretty close, right? After all, 8.0 is considered an MVP-caliber season. So what, 8.5? 9.0? Maybe it was on the low end, around 7.5? No. All wrong, absolutely wrong. Try 5.9.

The winner, Cincinnati’s Barry Larkin, had a great season, but nowhere near the caliber of Maddux’s campaign. Larkin did not lead the National League in a single category. Hell, he didn’t even register a .900 OPS that year. He did, however, steal 51 bases. Despite good seasons, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Reggie Sanders and especially Greg Maddux have been overlooked. Also, Maddux was a pitcher, and they tend not to do very well in MVP voting.

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