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Rangers History Today: Alex Rodriguez Wins AL MVP

One of the most polarizing players in Rangers history won the AL MVP on this date, then left town a few months later.

On this date in Texas Rangers history, Alex Rodriguez was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player for the 2003 season.

It was the first MVP honor of Rodriguez’s career after previously finishing in second place on two occasions. And, it came in a year in which the Rangers finished in last place. Rodriguez became the second player to earn the MVP award (as voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America) with a last-place team. The first was Andre Dawson, who did it with the Chicago Cubs in 1987.

Because of that, the first-place votes were spread among 10 different players. Rodriguez received six first-place votes and finished with 243 points, ahead of Toronto’s Carlos Delgado (213). Rodriguez’s six votes matched Yogi Berra (1951) for the fewest for first place for an MVP winner.

Rodriguez led the American League with 47 home runs, 124 runs scored and a .600 slugging percentage. He also hit .298 and racked up 118 RBI. He was the only player named on every ballot.

The Rangers traded Rodriguez to the New York Yankees on Feb. 15, 2004.

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Also on this date …

Nov. 17, 1975: Rangers traded pitcher Ferguson Jenkins to Boston for outfielder Juan Beniquez and two pitchers. Jenkins was a seven-time 20-win pitcher at the time. He would later return to the Rangers.

Nov. 17, 1992: The Major League Expansion Draft is held to stock the rosters of the Florida Marlins and the Colorado Rockies. The Rangers lost three players — outfielder Kevin Reimer (first round, Colorado), pitcher Scott Chiamparino (second round, Florida) and outfielder Monty Farris (third round, Florida).

Nov. 17, 2015: Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister is named the American League Manager of the Year after leading the Rangers to the 2015 American League West title in his first season with the team. He was voted the winner by the BBWAA.


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