MVP Voting Is Landslide Victory for Kevin Mitchell


Kevin Mitchell, the San Francisco Giant left fielder, became the first player in 48 years to win the National League’s most valuable player award after being traded twice.

Mitchell, dealt first by the New York Mets and then by the San Diego Padres, found his niche in San Francisco and produced a season that evoked memories of a Giant immortal named Willie Mays.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Nov. 23, 1989 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday November 23, 1989 Home Edition Sports Part C Page 16 Column 3 Sports Desk 1 inches; 31 words Type of Material: Correction
Mark Langston--The San Francisco Giants are the team that has withdrawn from the negotiations for free-agent pitcher Mark Langston. The identity of the Giants was inadvertently deleted in some of Wednesday’s editions.

He led the major leagues with 47 homers--the most by a Giant since Mays hit 52 in 1965--and 125 runs batted in. He also was tops in total bases, extra-base hits and slugging percentage.


Mitchell, who batted .291 and scored 100 runs as the Giants won the National League pennant, received 20 of the 24 first-place votes from a committee of the Baseball Writers Assn. of America.

The award brought Mitchell a bonus of $100,000 on top of his $535,0000 salary.

“I’m very happy about it,” he said of being named MVP. “It means a lot. I can walk around with my head up, especially in my hometown (of San Diego).

“I can walk around, and people will say, ‘There’s Kevin Mitchell. He’s the MVP.’ It’s a great honor.”

Mitchell, 27, compiled 314 points, based on 14 for first place and nine through one for second through 10th.

San Francisco first baseman Will Clark, who batted .338 and drove in 111 runs, was second in the voting with three first-place votes and 225 points.

The other first-place vote went to ex-Dodger Pedro Guerrero of the St. Louis Cardinals, who batted .311 and drove in 117 runs. He was third with 190 points.

Rounding out the top five were Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs with 157 points and Howard Johnson of the New York Mets with 153. Dodger outfielder Kirk Gibson, who won the award in 1988, was sidelined by injuries for most of the ’89 season and did not receive a vote.

The last National League player to win the award after having been traded twice was Dolph Camilli of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1941.

Mitchell went to the Padres on Dec. 11, 1986, in an eight-player deal that sent Kevin McReynolds to the Mets. He went to the Giants with Dave Dravecky and Craig Lefferts on July 4, 1987, in a seven-player transaction that sent Mark Grant, Chris Brown and Mark Davis, the National League’s 1989 Cy Young Award winner, to San Diego.

Mitchell said he was shocked and dismayed at each trade, but he has apparently found a home now.

He and Clark are the 22nd set of teammates to finish 1-2 in the voting. The last time it happened was in the American League in 1983, when Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray of the Baltimore Orioles were 1-2. The last time it happened in the National League was in 1976, when Joe Morgan and George Foster of the Cincinnati Reds took the top two spots.

The Giants have withdrawn from the bidding for free-agent pitcher Mark Langston, leaving the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Cardinals, Cubs and New York Yankees, agent Arn Tellem said Tuesday.

“We’re dealing with the elite,” Tellem said of those six clubs, “and I’d say it’s a horse race. Anyone has a chance.”

Tellem met with Fred Claire, the Dodgers’ executive vice president, Tuesday.