With the first of his three National League Most Valuable Player awards, Albert Pujols established himself as the dominant player in the National League, producing numbers that hadn’t been reached in decades by any Cardinals player who had earned the honor.
On Nov. 15, 2005, Pujols, 25, was named NL MVP in balloting by 32 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Pujols became the first Cardinals player to earn a NL MVP since Willie McGee in 1985.
Barry Bonds of the Giants had won the award in four consecutive years (2001-04). After that, Pujols won NL MVP in three of the next five years (2005, 2008, 2009).
In 2005, Pujols batted .330 with 41 home runs, 117 RBI, 195 hits, 129 runs and a .430 on-base percentage.
Among the special achievements:
_ Before Pujols, no Cardinals NL MVP winner had hit 41 home runs in a season.
_ The 117 RBI by Pujols were the most by a Cardinals NL MVP winner since Joe Torre had 137 in 1971.
_ Pujols’ 129 runs scored and his .430 on-base percentage each was the most by a Cardinals NL MVP winner since Stan Musial scored 135 and had a .450 on-base percentage in 1948.
_ Pujols and Chris Carpenter in 2005 became the first NL teammates to win the MVP Award and Cy Young Award in the same year since Terry Pendleton and Tom Glavine did so with the 1991 Braves.
Asked by St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz about Pujols being the NL MVP winner, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said, “Our club gets a lot of its competitive nature from his personality. That’s what an MVP should be all about.”
Pujols received 378 vote points and 18 first-place votes in the balloting for the 2005 NL MVP Award.
Braves outfielder Andruw Jones was a close runner-up, with 351 vote points and 13 first-place votes. Jones batted .263 with 51 home runs, 128 RBI, 154 hits, 95 runs and an on-base percentage of .347.
“I think he deserved it,” Jones said to the Associated Press about Pujols winning the award. “The voting was the right vote. He was the right choice.”
Finishing third in balloting was Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee, with 263 vote points and one first-place vote. Lee hit .335 with 46 home runs, 107 RBI, 199 hits, 120 runs and a .418 on-base percentage.
Previously: Albert Pujols achieves unofficial Triple Crown