The best gamers who by no means gained an MVP



One of many largest annual debates for influence in any sport is who is known as MVP? It carries each fast weight and long-term status, serving to to inform the historical past of the respective league. Nonetheless, there are lots of greats that craft their total Corridor of Fame legacy – however accomplish that with out ever capturing MVP. Here’s a have a look at the highest American athletes of all time who noticed MVP honors fall outdoors their attain.


Elgin Baylor

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One of the vital prolific performers in NBA historical past, Baylor was an 11-time All-Star who owned averages of 27.4 factors and 13.5 rebounds over his 14-year profession with the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers. However Baylor by no means took dwelling full season honors amid an period dominated by Wilt Chamberlain and Invoice Russell, regardless of ending high three within the voting 3 times.


Sue Bird

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A 12-time All-Star and four-time champion within the WNBA with the Seattle Storm and five-time Olympic Gold Medalist amongst many different accomplishments, Chicken’s trophy case is way from barren. But the one important accomplishment that has eluded her throughout the WNBA is MVP. Nonetheless, the WNBA’s all-time help chief has performed a major half within the MVP runs of two different Seattle legends in Lauren Jackson and Breanna Stewart.


Wade Boggs

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Boggs was one of many largest names in baseball throughout the Eighties, profitable 5 batting titles for the Boston Red Sox and beginning a string of 12 consecutive All-Star choices. Nonetheless, when it got here to the MVP, not solely did he yearly come up brief, he typically did so to his personal teammates. In 1986, he hit .357 however completed seventh within the voting behind teammates Roger Clemens and Jim Rice. The next yr, Boggs reinvented himself, tripling his dwelling run whole, whereas elevating his batting common to .363. His reward? Dropping down from seventh to ninth in MVP voting.


Ray Bourque

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Bourque spent 21 years with the Boston Bruins establishing himself as one of many biggest defencemen of all time. Whereas captured seven Norris Trophies to solidify that popularity and scored extra factors than any D-man ever within the course of, he stays arguably the most effective participant to by no means declare the Hart Trophy (which solely two defencemen have carried out since 1970). Bourque did end second twice, nonetheless, together with 1990 when Mark Messier narrowly claimed it over him.


Drew Brees

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Maybe no extra achieved athlete –in any league— did extra in his profession, however walked away with out an MVP to point out for it. Brees grew to become the primary participant in NFL historical past to throw for over 80,000 yards, whereas additionally holding data for many consecutive video games with a landing go and highest single-season completion proportion. Whereas he has 13 Professional Bowl choices, two Offensive Participant of the Yr nods, and was named MVP of Tremendous Bowl XLIV, however his historic profession completed with out him being acknowledged as the highest participant in a season.


Eric Dickerson

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A six-time Professional Bowler, who led the NFL in dashing 4 instances, Dickerson was one of the unstoppable runners of the Eighties. His finest season got here in 1984, when he set the file for probably the most dashing yards in a season, with 2,105 – a file that continues to face. However in the intervening time, he nonetheless completed second MVP voting behind Dan Marino’s equally historic 5,000 yard passing season. General, Dickerson completed within the high three of MVP voting in three of his first 4 seasons.


Marcell Dionne

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An extremely productive and constant goal-scorer within the early days of the Los Angeles Kings, Dionne ranks fifth all-time in targets and sixth all-time in factors. Whereas he gained a pair of Girl Byng Trophies and Lester Pearson Awards, in addition to an Artwork Ross Trophy, he was shut out of claiming the Hart Memorial because of his profession crossing over largely with that of none apart from nine-time winner Wayne Gretzky.


Clyde Drexler

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The shadow of Michael Jordan stood tall over the profession of Drexler’s practically from begin to end. After Portland handed drafting Jordan within the 1984 Draft –a yr after taking Drexler— the comparisons began and by no means stopped. And whereas Clyde simply had a Corridor of Fame profession, making 10 All-Star Video games, 5 All-NBA groups, and lifting the Path Blazers to turning into perennial contenders. But at his peak moments, there was at all times Jordan standing in the best way of him reaching the summit. This occurred twice in 1992 when Drexler completed as runner-up to Jordan for MVP and misplaced to his Bulls within the NBA Finals.


Ron Francis

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Whereas Francis was by no means the most effective participant within the NHL and at instances the third, to fourth-best participant on his personal staff (granted, he performed on some REALLY good Penguins squads), one doesn’t attain fourth all-time in factors with out placing some critical work in. Over the course of his 23 seasons, Francis topped 100 factors thrice and led the league in assists on two events as effectively, together with helping on 48 targets in 44 video games in 1995.


Tommie Frazier

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The maestro of Nebraska’s unstoppable dashing assault of the early 90s, Frazier went 45-4 over 4 years on the helm for the Cornhuskers. He led the Husker to 3 Nationwide Championship Video games and gained two. En path to his second title in 1995, he threw for 17 TDs and ran for 14 extra inside an offense that averaged 400 dashing yards per recreation. Nonetheless, Frazier completed behind Ohio State’s Eddie George for honors, sealing his standing as the best Heisman runner-up of all time.


Brittney Griner

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Griner is certainly one of –if not the— most dominant inside forces within the historical past of ladies’s basketball. She has led the WNBA in block pictures in seven of her eight seasons and owns each the single-season and per-game all-time data within the course of. She led the league in scoring as effectively in 2019 and helped the Phoenix Mercury to a title in her second season. Regardless of these accolades, she has but to say an MVP.


Tony Gwynn

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An eight-time batting champion who owned a profession .338 common in route to three,141 hits, Gwynn was one of the revered hitters within the historical past recreation. Gwynn hit over .350 throughout six of his eight batting title seasons and completed third in 1984 when he turned in a career-best 213 hits. Maybe he would have ascended to the MVP mountaintop had the 1994 season not ended because of strike, when he was hitting .394 with a professional shot on the first .400 season since 1941.


John Havlicek

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Hondo spent his total 16-year profession with the Boston Celtics, making 13 All-Star groups and profitable eight NBA Finals, within the course of. Between 1967 and 1973, he averaged 24 factors, 7.5 rebounds, and 6 assists, whereas commonly making the All-Protection Staff, largely earlier than particular person defensive stats had been compiled. But between this stretch, his finest MVP end was fourth place in ’72. He nonetheless completed his profession because the Celtics’ all-time chief in factors and video games performed.


Bo Jackson

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Only a few athletes may legitimately stake a declare that they may have been an MVP in two sports activities. However then once more, there’s just one Bo Jackson. A devastating hip harm ended his NFL profession after simply three seasons, however he averaged practically 5.5 yards per carry for the Oakland Raiders and had the NFL’s longest dashing landing in three of his 4 seasons. Concurrently with the Kansas City Royals, he hit over 20 dwelling runs 4 instances, topped 20 stolen bases twice, and was named MVP of the All-Star Sport in 1989. The sky was actually the restrict for this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.


Derek Jeter

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There was no higher participant in historical past within the postseason than Jeter, who owns 10 postseason data and has 5 World Collection titles to his credit score. Nonetheless, he was no slouch throughout the common season both, as his 3,465 hits are probably the most by a shortstop in historical past and sixth-most in historical past. The Captain completed within the high three in MVP voting in 1998, 2006 and 2009, however by no means took it dwelling himself. Nonetheless, the consummate staff participant indubitably values the MVP he earned within the World Collection in 2000 greater than something earned by way of the primary 162 video games.


Al Kaline

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After breaking in with the Tigers as an 18-year-old, Kaline would compile 18 All-Star appearances and 10 Gold Gloves over the subsequent 22 years in Detroit. The ever-consistent Kaline topped 3,000 hits, completed one dwelling run shy of 400, and completed inside the highest 5 of AL MVP voting 4 instances. Nonetheless, for believers in an enormous market bias, Kaline actually could possibly be the poster boy for being victimized by that. He completed behind a Yankee in MVP voting –be it Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, or Elston Howard – in eight of 10 years between 1954 and 1962.


Jason Kidd

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In 2002, Kidd got here near turning into the primary level guard since Magic Johnson in 1990 to win NBA MVP. Kidd averaged 14.7 factors, alongside 9.9 assists and seven rebounds per recreation, pulling the Nets to a 26-game enchancment and into their first NBA Finals in franchise historical past. Nonetheless, he narrowly completed in second place subsequent to Tim Duncan.


Ray Lewis

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Just one linebacker –the immortal Lawrence Taylor— has ever gained MVP throughout the Tremendous Bowl period, and no inside backer has ever come shut. That’s highlighted by the doubtful exclusion of Lewis from the MVP voting ranks over his dominant 17-year profession, the place he acquired a grand whole of three MVP votes. This regardless of the actual fact he led not one, however two dominant stretches of defensive brilliance for the Baltimore Ravens, made 12 Professional Bowls and 7 All-Professional groups, a pair of Defensive Participant of the Yr nods, and two Tremendous Bowl trophies.


Pedro Martinez

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There’s a perception amongst some that in baseball, the Most Useful Participant Award is for on a regular basis gamers and the Cy Younger Award is the equal for pitchers. Thus, no pitcher ought to win MVP. In 1998, Martinez confirmed how ridiculous of a notion that was, when he turned in one of the dominant performances in MLB historical past. He went 23-4, with a 2.07 ERA on the yr, hanging out 313 whereas strolling solely 37. This led Pedro to obtain probably the most first-place votes for MVP, however nonetheless not profitable the award after being left off the poll fully by two ‘traditionalist’ voters.


Tracy McGrady

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After reaching the NBA straight from highschool, McGrady rapidly reworked himself into one of many recreation’s elite scoring guards of all time. He gained consecutive scoring titles in 2003 and 2004, amid a stretch of averaging higher than 24 factors per recreation for seven seasons. Whereas he completed within the high 10 of MVP voting for six out of seven seasons between 2001 and 2008, he by no means climbed greater than fourth place.


Reggie Miller

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One of many nice big-moment performers in NBA historical past, Miller offered for among the most memorable playoff moments of the Nineteen Nineties. However regardless of retiring because the NBA’s all-time chief in three-pointers made and being chosen to 5 All-Star groups, Miller solely acquired MVP votes in two seasons, 1998 and 2000, ending outdoors of the highest 10 each instances.


Warren Moon

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Moon’s inclusion right here isn’t fully correct, as he did win an MVP throughout his prolific run throughout the CFL. Nonetheless, throughout his good 17-year NFL profession, which noticed Moon throw for over 49,000 yards, 291 touchdowns, and make 9 Professional Bowls, he by no means completed greater than third in MVP voting. That got here in 1990, when Moon’s 4,689 passing yards had been the third-highest single-season whole in historical past on the time, highlighted by a 527 yard recreation in December by way of the Kansas City Chiefs.


Randy Moss

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A sensation from the second he first lined up within the NFL, Moss went on to turn into probably the most thrilling go catcher within the historical past of the sport. He led the league in receiving touchdowns in 5 totally different seasons, together with setting a single-season file in 2007 with 23. Though he locations within the high 5 all-time in receiving TDS and yards, the six-time Professional Bowler by no means completed as an MVP finalist.


David Ortiz

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One of the vital prolific, big-moment producers of all time, Ortiz’s 541 dwelling runs are probably the most by any participant who spent at the very least 50% of his profession as a chosen hitter. But on the identical time, no DH has ever gained the MVP award, largely as a result of odd notion that the function is for a specialist & doesn’t maintain the general worth as a positional participant. So, regardless of Ortiz having three seasons for 40+ dwelling runs, 100+ RBI, and a .300 common, he by no means completed greater than second in AL MVP voting.


Chris Paul

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If his 2021 season spent rejuvenating the Phoenix Suns proved something, even in his mid-30s, the MVP is just not outdoors of CP3’s attain. But even within the level guard-driven period, he performed an enormous function in pioneering –the place 4 PGs have gained MVP since 2000— Paul is but to seize one himself. Nonetheless, he has completed within the high 10 in MVP Award voting in 9 totally different seasons, has taken 5 totally different groups to the playoffs, and sits throughout the high 10 all-time in steals and assists.


Manny Ramirez

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Manny was one of the prolific hitters of all time. But regardless of his commonly beautiful efforts at plate, highlighted by a 165 RBI season in 1999, a .349 batting title in 2002, and 5 years of 40 or extra dwelling runs, there was at all times a scenario that had him fall simply outdoors of the highest of the MVP poll. In 1999, he fell third behind the controversial Ivan Rodriguez/Pedro Martinez vote. In 2002, a hamstring harm price him over a month. In 2008, his most dominant run got here following a commerce to the Dodgers, the place he hit .396 with 17 dwelling runs in 53 video games however fell behind a potent Albert Pujols season.


Jerry Rice

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The hands-down biggest go catcher of all time, Rice hasn’t performed in 16 years and nonetheless owns 13 NFL receiving data. With 10 First-Staff All-Professional choices, 13 Professional Bowls, and three Tremendous Bowl titles, it’s ridiculous that one of many biggest influence gamers of all-time was by no means named Most Useful Participant, however alongside the best way helped Joe Montana, Steve Younger, and Wealthy Gannon to 5 wins as their main goal. Amongst his many standout campaigns that went unawarded had been his record-setting 22 touchdowns in 1987, in addition to his 122 catch and 1,848-yard 1995 season.


Mariano Rivera

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4 reduction pitchers have gained MVP honors in MLB historical past, however stunningly the consensus biggest reliever of all of them by no means completed greater than ninth within the voting. There isn’t a scarcity of unimaginable seasons from Rivera, who owned a 2.21 lifetime ERA in path to a file of 652 profession saves. Rivera turned in six seasons of at the very least 40 saves with a sub 2.00 ERA, however by no means was actually given credit score for the influence that carried on shaping the Yankee dynasty he helped to co-author. And if that wasn’t sufficient, Rivera one way or the other by no means even completed greater than third in voting for the “pitcher’s MVP” by way of the Cy Younger Award both.


Patrick Roy

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Palms down the best goalie to by no means win an MVP, the one motive why Roy’s mantle doesn’t have a Hart Trophy on it’s the parallel presence of Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux over the course of his profession. His excellence within the internet was as an alternative awarded by three Vezina Trophies and 5 Jennings Trophies, in addition to his three Conn Smythe Trophies he gained throughout his 4 Stanley Cup victories.


Deion Sanders

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All through the early 90s, wherever ‘Primetime’ went, titles weren’t too far behind. Few gamers ever modified the sport greater than Sanders did at cornerback, the place his presence alone reduce the sector in half. That’s as a result of Sanders had a knack for turning defensive stands into factors on the board. He was at his peak powers in 1994, when returned half of his six interceptions for touchdowns and totaled over 300 yards of an interception return. For his profession, Neon Deion discovered the endzone 22 instances – with 18 coming by way of interception, punt, or kickoff return.


Isiah Thomas

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One of many consummate underdogs in NBA historical past, the tough-as-nails chief of the ‘Unhealthy Boys’ Detroit Pistons groups merely performed on the fallacious time for the MVP to land with him. His profession intersected the primes of each Magic Johnson and Larry Chicken, in addition to the rise of Michael Jordan, a trio that mixed to win MVP in 9 of his Isiah’s 13 seasons. He did win All-Star MVP in 1984 and ’86, and extra importantly, NBA Finals MVP in 1990.


Tina Thompson

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Thompson entered the WNBA as the primary #1 general decide in league historical past and went on to win 4 consecutive titles with the Houston Comets. Alongside the best way, she grew to become the league’s all-time main scorer, a distinction she held for 10 years. Regardless of this, she by no means claimed the league’s MVP, typically overshadowed by teammates Cynthia Cooper and Sheryl Swoopes, who mixed for 5 MVP seasons whereas partnering with Thompson.


John Stockton

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It isn’t shocking that Stockton by no means gained MVP, as his total legacy relies on how a lot he gave to –and took from— others. The scrappy level guard spent his total 19-year profession with the Utah Jazz, turning into the NBA’s all-time chief in assists and steals within the course of. The ten-time All-Star and nine-time help champ acquired votes in 12 separate seasons however did a few of his finest work in serving to Karl Malone to say honors MVP twice.


Dwyane Wade

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A 3-time NBA Champion and eight-time All-NBA choice, Wade is the all-time chief in practically every little thing that issues for the Miami Heat. He led the league in scoring in 2009, a yr the place he completed third in MVP voting, the most effective end of his profession. Maybe ‘Flash’ may have continued to rise to say just a few MVP seasons, however he spent the center of his profession pursuing titles alongside LeBron James, who gained consecutive MVPs in 2009 and ’10 alongside Wade.


Jerry West

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Isn’t it ironic that West by no means gained MVP in a league that his silhouette is the brand of the league? An All-Star in all 14 of his seasons, West was the primary participant to say each scoring and help title in his profession, West topped 30 factors per recreation in 4 totally different seasons, however noticed Wilt Chamberlain or Bill Russell take dwelling the {hardware} in three of these 4 campaigns. Regardless of by no means profitable the total season award, West does stay the one participant in historical past to win Finals MVP for a shedding staff in 1969.


Reggie White

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The Minister of the Protection’s exclusion from the ranks of the NFL’s Most Useful Gamers is an unequivocal indictment of the bias towards defensive gamers profitable the award. White was a drive of nature on the defensive traces of the Philadelphia Eagles, Inexperienced Bay Packers, and briefly the Carolina Panthers. He reached double-digits in sacks in all however three of his 15 seasons and recorded 21 sacks in a 12-game season in 1987. He retired because the all-time sacks chief with 197 and averaged a ridiculous 0.83 sacks per recreation for his profession.


Russell Wilson

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Being a sufferer of a number of circumstances has landed Wilson right here. A lot of this comes because of his early years operating parallel with the primes of Brady and Manning, then commonly contending with a recent in Aaron Rodgers. Lastly, add in a touch of career-year breakouts from Matt Ryan and Cam Newton, then up-and-comers reminiscent of Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, and it’s comprehensible how an MVP nod has eluded the ultra-consistent Wilson. Nonetheless, armed with a extra aggressive offense lately than ever earlier than, time will inform if Wilson’s day within the MVP solar remains to be but to come back.


Vince Young

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Younger was a drive of nature in 2005, totaling over 4,000 yards and 38 touchdowns for the Texas Longhorns. However regardless of his dominant season, Younger completed as runner-up for the Heisman behind USC’s Reggie Bush. Younger bought an opportunity to actual some revenge towards Bush’s USC staff within the Rose Bowl and didn’t waste the chance. Younger was unstoppable in Pasadena, throwing for 267 yards, whereas dashing for one more 200 and three touchdowns, keying an enormous upset of the defending Nationwide Champions to convey the title again to Austin – in lieu of the Heisman that escaped him.


Steve Yzerman

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Yzerman gained three Stanley Cups over a six-year span between 1997 and 2002, and took dwelling the Conn Smythe Trophy in ’98, affirming himself as one of many nice championship leaders of all time. Nonetheless, lengthy earlier than these days, he did not be awarded hockey’s MVP for any of his biggest particular person seasons, which got here amid six consecutive 100-point seasons from 1988 by way of 1993. His highest end got here throughout the 1988-89 season, when he completed third behind Gretzky and Lemieux, regardless of scoring 155 factors on 65 targets and 90 assists.




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