Who Was The Oldest Player To Win MVP In Baseball?

Who Was The Oldest Player To Win MVP In Baseball

The Most Valuable Player Award is the most prestigious award in baseball. In 2004, Barry Bonds won the National League MVP award at 40 years old, making him the oldest player to take home the award in baseball history. What is the history of the award, and who are some of the oldest players to be named MVP? Keep reading to find out.

Most Valuable Player Award

The Most Valuable Player (MVP) award was first given in 1911 to honor “the most important and useful player to the club and to the league.” Since 1931, the Baseball Writers Association of America has voted to decide the best player from each league. One player from the National League and one player from the American League are selected for the Most Valuable Player award each season. 

Thirty-two players have won the award multiple times, with Barry Bonds leading the way with seven MVP awards. In 2022, Aaron Judge won his first American League MVP at the age of 30, while Paul Goldschmidt won his first National League MVP at 35. Goldschmidt entered a short list of players to win the award at 35 years or older.

Oldest MVPs in History

The oldest MVPs in MLB history are:

  1. Barry Bonds: 40 years old
  2. Willie Stargell: 39 years old
  3. Dennis Eckersley: 38 years old
  4. Mike Schmidt : 37 years old
  5. Rollie Fingers: 35 years old
  6. Paul Goldschmidt: 35 years old

Six players have won an MVP award at age 35 or older. In 1979, Willie Stargell shared the honors in the National League with Keith Hernandez. Stargell became the oldest player to win the award at the time, as he was 39 years old. 

Dennis Eckersley won the MVP at 38 in 1992, 37-year-old Mike Schmidt was named the Most Valuable Player in 1986, and Rollie Fingers took home the award in 1981 at the age of 35. Paul Goldschmidt is the most recent player to receive an MVP award at age 35 or older, doing so in 2022. The oldest player to win the award is Barry Bonds, who won his seventh NL MVP at the age of 40 in 2004.

Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds not only has the most MVPs in baseball history, but he is also the oldest winner of the award. The slugger took home his first honor in 1990 while he was still with the Pirates. Bonds was just 25 years old when he was named the Most Valuable Player that season. The outfielder won two more MVPs in the early 1990s and then went seven seasons without the award. 

A 37-year-old Bonds won his fourth honor in 2001, which put him as the third-oldest player at the time to win the award. The Giants hitter claimed four straight Most Valuable Player Awards, with the final one coming in the 2004 season. Bonds had just turned 40 years of age when he won his final MVP, breaking the previous record held by Willie Stargell. Bonds led the MLB in numerous offensive categories that season, including batting average, walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and more.