We are finally clear of World War II this week on MLB Monday: All the players were back in MLB uniforms, and then some. We’re also only a decade away now from actually have a voted-upon World Series MVP to analyze, so there’s that to look forward to this summer as well. In the meantime, this year represents the only time Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams ever played in the World Series, sadly, and he was no factor whatsoever, strangely. Life is cruel sometimes.

1946 World Series MVP: Harry Breechen, P, St. Louis (NL)

With the Red Sox playing in their first Fall Classic since trading away Babe Ruth, anticipation was high for this matchup between Boston and the St. Louis Cardinals. Alas, in Game 7 during the ninth inning, the Cards won it all thanks to a legendary moment which has been stretched well beyond the truth. Either way, St. Louis won the World Series, and there are plenty of MVP candidates from both teams. But in the end, one player stands out for some obvious reasons.

Cardinals pitcher Harry Breechen went 3-0 in the matchup, winning Games 2, 6, and 7 somehow. He did all this in 20 innings with two complete games, a 0.950 WHIP, and the key relief appearance in the final game when he pitched the final two innings for St. Louis, holding the potent Red Sox scoreless in a then-tie game. You don’t often see a pitcher win a trio of games in the World Series, but when you do? It pretty much puts that guy at the top of the MVP pile. Enough said.

1946 AL MOTY: Joe Cronin, Boston

The Red Sox won the pennant by 12 games over the Detroit Tigers, and Boston Manager Joe Cronin posted a whopping plus-7 PPP mark, which was the best effort by any manager of a winning team. We will give a special shout to Washington Senators Manager Ossie Bluege (again) for his plus-9 PPP effort, even though his team still finished two games under .500 for the year. Either way, this is Cronin’s fourth nod from us for MOTY, so he’s entering elite territory.

1946 NL MOTY: Leo Durocher, Brooklyn

St. Louis won the pennant by 2 games over the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Cards manager Eddie Dyer (plus-1 PPP) was good enough to hold off Dodgers Manager Leo Durocher (plus-3). Philadelphia Phillies Manager Ben Chapman (plus-8) was amazing, but his team was terrible, finishing well under .500 over the full season. So, is it Dyer or Durocher? On paper, the Cards should have won the pennant by 4 games, but Durocher made it closer than it should have been. He’s our guy.

Every situation is different, but we find it hard to reward in this case Dyer for being slightly better than expected. Not that 4-game projections are a runaway … yet it’s more like St. Louis merely held on to their lead with him at the helm. In situations like that, should we always give the benefit of the doubt to the chaser? We will have to iron out a “rule” here as move forward in this miniseries, for sure. Either way, this is Durocher’s second MOTY trophy from us.