Thursday, November 15, 2012
Buster Posey named NL MVP
ESPN.com news services
Buster Posey has an MVP prize to put alongside his second World Series ring.
Posey was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player on Thursday after returning from a devastating leg injury and becoming the first catcher in 70 years to win the league's batting title.
The first catcher in four decades to win the NL award, Posey received 27-of-32 first-place votes and 422 points from the Baseball Writers' Association of America, outdistancing 2011 winner Ryan Braun of Milwaukee, who was second with 285 points.
In spring training, Posey's focus was just to get back on the field. His 2011 season was cut short by a collision with the Marlins' Scott Cousins on May 25 that resulted in a fractured bone in Posey's lower left leg and three torn ankle ligaments.
Posey not only returned, he helped San Francisco win its second World Series championship in three seasons.
"I definitely have a deeper appreciation for being able to play baseball," he said. "I've seen that it can be taken away quick."
Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen (245) was third, followed by St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina (241).
Posey, a boyish-looking 25, was the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year as the Giants won their first World Series since 1954. This year he set career highs with a .336 average, 24 homers and 103 RBIs as San Francisco won again.
Posey took the NL batting title after teammate Melky Cabrera requested a rules change that disqualified him. Cabrera, who hit .346, missed the final 45 games of the regular-season while serving a suspension for a positive testosterone test and would have won the batting crown if the rule hadn't been changed.
Ernie Lombardi had been the previous catcher to capture the NL batting championship, in 1942.
"I think anybody that has caught before understands the grind of catching, not only the physical, the nicks, the wear and tear of squatting for nine innings night in, day out, but just the mental grind of working a pitching staff," Posey said. "It's demanding."
Catchers have won the NL MVP just eight times, with Posey joining Gabby Hartnett (1935), Lombardi (1938), Roy Campanella (1951, 1953, 1955) and Johnny Bench (1970, 1972). The other winning catchers were Lombardi in 1938 and Gabby Hartnett in 1935.
Posey is the first Giants player to win since Barry Bonds claimed his record seventh MVP award in 2004.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.