In a day that will live in the shadow of nine incredible NFL games, the birth of a NASCAR dynasty, and the dreadful American Music Awards, Major League Baseball has delivered its most coveted of awards. Twins catcher Joe Mauer has taken home the American League Most Valuable Player Award, in what appears to be a landslide.
Mauer, who will enter the final year of a four-year multi-million dollar deal in 2010, acquired all first-place votes from the voters with the exception of one, which went to Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. Other receiving second-place votes included the Yankee combination of first baseman Mark Teixeira and shortstop Derek Jeter, alongside Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis.
The award was overwhelmingly awarded to the Minnesota native for good reason. Having missed the first month of the season, Mauer ignited a Twins spark that propelled them to an AL Central playoff berth. The 26-year old hit .365 in route to his second straight AL batting title, his third overall.
Ron Gardenhire, the Minnesota manager, told MLB.com, “The year Joe had was just incredible. It’s almost hard to wrap your mind around where he now stands in the history of the game. I know what he means to our ballclub and our organization. But I think everybody nationally is starting to get a little bit of a feel now how really, really good this guy is. I think you just top it off by giving him an MVP award, which he rightfully deserves.”
The 2009 season was the Twins last in the H.H.H. Metrodome, as they will move into the nearby Target Field for opening day.