By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Mookie Betts had an outstanding season in 2018 for the Boston Red Sox. He now has a shiny new MVP trophy to show for it.
But for as much as everybody understands that Betts had a great year, it may be even better than most believe.
That’s because not only did Betts win the American League MVP, but he also won a World Series, a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove. Here’s a complete list of every American League player in history who’s taken home all three of those awards plus a world title in the same season:
And, according to the Red Sox, the only player in the National League to ever win all three awards in a championship season was Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt in 1980.
Removing the World Series win from the equation — which is, of course, a team accomplishment — Betts is just the 10th AL player to ever win the MVP, a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in the same season.
Betts also posted a 10.9 WAR in 2018, per baseball-reference, which is the highest mark for a position player since Barry Bonds in 2002. It’s also tied with Ted Williams for being the second-highest such mark for a Red Sox player, trailing only Carl Yastrzemski’s 12.5 WAR, which he recorded during his triple crown season in 1967.
While we’re on the subject: Betts became the second player in Red Sox history to record at least 40 doubles, five triples and 30 home runs in two separate seasons. The other player was Ted Williams.
The Red Sox also shared this information, which deserves its own space:
The only major leaguers to record a higher WAR in a season prior to turning 26 years old are Babe Ruth (11.9 in 1920), Lou Gehrig (11.8 in 1927), and Mickey Mantle (11.3 in 1956 and 1957).
It’s been quite the start of a career for Betts, who now has a World Series championship, an AL MVP Award, three Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, three All-Star appearances in his four full seasons. He’s also generating headlines like these:
Clearly, Betts is off to a rather special start — a historically special start — to his major league career.