(Reuters) - Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera won his second successive American League Most Valuable Player Award, while Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed National League honors on Thursday.
Third baseman Cabrera, who batted .348 with 44 home runs and 137 runs batted in, received 23 of the 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Centerfielder McCutchen, who hit .317, drove in 84 runs and stole 27 bases, was a runaway winner, garnering 28 first-place votes from the 30 ballots.
“I‘m very happy. If I could get up to dance right now, I would,” McCutchen, who also hit 21 home runs, told MLB TV.
McCutchen, 27, is the first Pirates player to win the prestigious award since Barry Bonds in 1992, the last time Pittsburgh had reached the postseason before their spirited run to a wild card berth this season.
McCutchen, who finished third in the MVP voting last year, admitted that it was hard to avoid thoughts of the honor.
”I’d lie to you if I said it didn’t cross my mind ever,“ he said. ”I‘m not a selfish player and I definitely wasn’t thinking for myself. I was just trying to be the best player I could be for my team.
“There were times in the game when I’d come up to bat and you’d hear everybody standing up and cheering, ‘MVP’. It was just awesome to be able to hear something like that.”
Cabrera, 30, prevailed for the second consecutive year over Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, with slugger Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles finishing third.
“This is unbelievable. I‘m so excited right now,” said native Venezuelan Cabrera. “The whole day I was so nervous because it was a great competition. Trout and Davis being in the same race. Man this is fun. This is great for me.”
Cabrera became the first player to win back-to-back AL MVP awards since Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox in 1993-94. The next back-to-back winner before that was New York Yankees outfielder Roger Maris in 1960-61.
Cabrera claimed the MVP award last year after a Triple Crown season in which he led the American League in home runs, RBIs and batting average.
He was on pace for an even more spectacular season before a hernia injury sapped him of his ability to drive the ball as he hit only one home run in the month of September but still helped the Tigers win the AL Central title.
Trout once again put up amazing numbers, receiving five first-place votes after hitting .323 with 27 home runs, 97 RBIs and 33 stolen bases.
Davis registered major league highs of 53 homers and 138 RBIs and finished third in the voting.
In the National League, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who tied for the league lead with 36 homers and led the circuit with 125 RBIs, was second in the voting.
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina received the other two first-place votes after batting .319 with 80 RBIs and providing great leadership behind the plate.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue