By Bob Allen & Chuck Rosciam, Members of SABR
Voting for the MVP in each league by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is now based upon two voters per major league city with each ballot containing First thru Tenth place. When the BBWAA took over the voting in 1931, they used one writer in each city. That was changed to three from 1938 to 1961, then changed again to two. Also in 1938, the point count was changed by crediting 14 points for First Place (previously was 10 points), 9 points for Second Place, 8 points for Third, etc.
This variation in total voters and point tabulation since 1922 has made comparison meaningless without some other measurement form. Enter the MVP Points Share which converts all of the disparate numbers to a common measure. For example. If a player receives twelve 4th Place votes worth 7 points each, his total points would be 84. If there were a maximum possible point total of 336 that could have been earned by receiving the firstplace nomination of every writer polled, then the player's 84 points equals 25% (84/336) of the Points Share. We now can compare players across eras to see how they rank in MVP voting by the share they received.
The first ranking is Cumulative, where all of the shares have been added up. Example. If a player received MVP votes in five different years and received all (1.000 % share) first place votes each year, then his cumulative point share would be 5.000. The second ranking display is an Average Point Share per Year (Cumulative Share Points divided by the Number of Years receiving votes).
Ranking of Catchers

Ranking of Catchers


National League  American League  
191114  64  191114  64  
192429  80  192228  64  
193137  80  193137  80  
193860  336  193860  336  
1961  224  196168  280  
196268  280  196976  336  
196992  336  1977present  392  
199397  392  
1998present  448 