MLB Monday is back after a brief respite, and it’s the fourth season in a row we analyze a New York Yankees victory in the World Series. We have named three different players in pinstripes as our World Series MVP in the last three columns, so will it be a fourth different player this time? Or will we have a repeat winner for once? Never a dull moment here as we have weekly fun with the past MLB awards (even if they didn’t exist at the time!) … enjoy the read.
1939 World Series MVP: Charlie Keller, LF, New York (AL)
The Yankees swept the Cincinnati Reds in four games, outscoring them 20-8. No New York pitcher tossed more than 9 innings, so it’s hard to give a pitcher this award for one game of “excellence” among four total. How about the hitters? We have two prime candidates: left fielder Charlie Keller (1.658 OPS, 3 HRs, 6 RBI) and catcher Bill Dickey (.979, 2 HRs, 5 RBI). One of Dickey’s strengths not repped in those numbers is his handling of the pitching staff to its 1.22 ERA.
Yet the ERA was artificially low because of errors made in the field, so the real ERA was closer to 2.00, of course. Plus, Keller hit .438 overall with seven hits (including 5 XBHs) in 16 ABs, while Dickey managed just a .267 average (and just 2 XBHs). Therefore, we will reward Keller—our fourth different Yankee in these four seasons—with our MVP hardware for his dominant hitting display worthy of the Bronx Bomber nickname.
1939 AL MOTY: Joe Cronin, Boston
The Yankees won the league pennant by a whopping 17 games, but Manager Joe McCarthy turned in one of his worst seasons in the process (minus-5 PPP). Both Boston Manager Joe Cronin and Chicago Manager Jimmy Dykes posted plus-6 PPP marks, and with the Red Sox finishing 5.5 games ahead of the White Sox, we will reward Cronin here for his efforts, even though they really didn’t matter that much. This is Cronin’s second AL MOTY nod from us (1933).
1939 NL MOTY: Bill McKechnie, Cincinnati
The Reds topped the senior circuit by 4.5 games, and Manager Bill McKechnie posted the best PPP mark in the league as well (plus-2). That always clinches the deal for us in these MOTY analyses. This is his second NL nod from us as well, dating back to his first one in 1925. This was a pretty easy award to bestow, for sure.