Bonds Wins Record Sixth NL MVP Award

Tuesday, November 18th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Barry Bonds won his record sixth National League MVP award Tuesday, becoming the first player to get the honor in three consecutive years.

The San Francisco outfielder, the only player to win an MVP award more than three times, received 28 of 32 first-place votes and 426 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

St. Louis outfielder Albert Pujols was second with three first-place votes and 303 points. Atlanta outfielder Gary Sheffield got the other first-place vote and was third with 247 points.

At 39 years, 3 1/2 months, Bonds is the second-oldest MVP, trailing Pittsburgh's Willie Stargell, who was a few months older when he tied for the award in 1979.

Bonds had a difficult season in which his father, Bobby, died in August. Still, Bonds hit .341 with 45 homers and 90 RBIs, leading the major leagues in slugging percentage (.749), on-base percentage (.529) and walks.

Pujols hit a major league-high .359 with 43 homers and 124 RBIs and led the major leagues with 137 runs. He became just the 10th player to finish second in consecutive MVP votes, the first since the Dodgers' Mike Piazza in 1996 and 1997.

San Francisco players have won the award four straight times, with Jeff Kent finishing first in the 2000 vote. The Yankees accomplished that feat twice with Yogi Berra (1954-55) and Mickey Mantle (1956-57), and Roger Maris (1960-61), Mantle (1962) and Elton Howard (1963).

Bonds gets a $500,000 bonus for winning the award. Sheffield, who became a free agent after the season, earned $75,000 for finishing third. Florida's Juan Pierre gets $200,000 for finishing 10th.