This is the time of year when postseason banquets are occurring at many schools to mark the end of the fall season. In many cases, a “Most Valuable Player” will be announced and honored.
The qualities of the MVP are usually apparent ... often the player who scored the most points, gained the most yards, or won the most races or matches. But that’s not always the case; and it shouldn’t be.
Sometimes the MVP is the playmaker, the blocker for the scorer, or the team’s most inspiring player who energizes others or improves a team’s chemistry or performance in ways that statistics can’t measure.
I think about Major League Baseball’s American League MVP in 1942. It was Joe Gordon. That season, he led the major leagues in errors, strikeouts and most times hitting in double plays. But still he was the league’s MVP.
Sometimes referred to as “Flash Gordon,” this second baseman, who played for the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees, was renowned for his defense. And he should serve as a reminder that sometimes the MVP is not such an obvious choice.