Undeserving Phillies’ MVP Candidates in History: Part 2

MLB: APR 04 Braves at Phillies
PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 04: A general view of the retired numbers of Steve Carlton (32), Robin Roberts (36) and Jackie Robinson (42) during the Major League Baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves on April 4, 2021 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

On the first list of Phillies players who got MVP votes who probably shouldn’t have, we saw names like Dick Bartell, Hugh Mulcahy, and Jim Tabor. Since MVP voting as we know it started in 1931, those three names only make it up to 1946.

Continuing our list, we step right back into 1946.

Emil Verban

Jim Tabor wasn’t the only undeserving MVP candidate of 1946. Emil Verban received the same amount of votes, also finishing 20th. While Verban had a slightly better batting average, overall he was worse than Tabor. He recorded 0.2 WAR, hit zero home runs, and recorded a .302 OBP and .636 OPS.

Verban wasn’t even a decent fielder. In 1946, he recorded 28 errors at second base.

A rookie, Ralph Kiner, led the powerless National League with 23 homers. He finished 30th in MVP voting.

The story on Verban’s MVP candidacy doesn’t stop in 1946. The following year, Verban finished 22nd in MVP voting. He improved overall from 1946 to 1947. He hit .285 although still without a home run. Again, his OPS was under .700 (.656).

There were two Cardinal Hall of Famers who finished directly above Verban, tied for 20th. Stan “The Man” Musial had a .902 OPS and Enos Slaughter had an .818 OPS, both with over 100 runs scored.

Eddie Miller

Now, we head to 1948.

When the Phillies traded for Eddie Miller, he was already a 7X All-Star and was received MVP votes in seven seasons. Before we get in the ’48 season, Miller’s notoriety made absolutely no sense. He hit above .250 in just 2/7 All-Star seasons. He recorded an OPS over .700 in just two seasons!

In 1946, he hit .194 and was somehow still an All-Star!

Nothing about this man’s career makes sense. Anyway.

In 1948, Miller finished 25th in MVP voting. He slashed .246/.281/.382. SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY, he finished one place above teammate Del Ennis. Ennis hit .290 with 30 home runs! Nothing makes sense.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that Miller was a very good fielding shortstop. But still, his career is just odd.

Granny Hamner

Hey, look! A fairly recognizable Phillies player.

Granny Hamner, while a key member of the Whiz Kids, was a questionable MVP candidate not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES. The first instance of this came in 1949. Despite not breaking a .300 OBP (.290), Hamner was 17th in MVP voting. He tied with Giant Whitey Lockman who hit .301 that season with a .798 OPS.

1950 might be one of the most baffling MVP votes in Phillies history. It wasn’t exactly weird that Granny Hamner got MVP votes, but it’s weird how many he got. He finished 6th (!) in MVP voting and received two (!!!) first-place votes!

He slashed .270/.314/.380 on the season and yet finished directly in front of 3 Hall of Famers in MVP voting. Robin Roberts was 7th, Gil Hodges 8th, and Duke Snider 9th. It must be said that Hamner had a fantastic World Series, hitting .429 in the four games against the Yankees.

From 1952-54, Hamner was an All-Star and received MVP votes each year, mostly deservingly so.

1957 is another story. Hamner hit just .227 that season and had a -1.3 WAR. He had 21 errors at second base in 118 games started. It was just a terrible season and his MVP votes made 0 sense.

Robin Roberts

Does it feel like a sin to include a Hall of Famer on this list? Just a tad.

Robin Roberts recorded MVP votes in six straight seasons with 138 wins and a 2.93 ERA. He made it seven straight seasons in 1956 but with much less success.

He led the league in losses, hits allowed, earned runs allowed, and home runs allowed. On the flip side, he led the league with 22 complete games and a 1.2 BB/9 ratio. His 4.45 ERA was the highest in his career up to that point.

With the number of innings he pitched, it isn’t a crazy surprise he got MVP votes. He finished 23rd in MVP voting. Compared to his run from 1950-1955, he just wasn’t the same player.

You can yell at me for including Roberts if you feel the need to.

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

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