When Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins were awarded the MVP in consecutive seasons, it was hardly original. After all the fact is there were different players from the same team that won back-to-back MVP awards lots of times. Actually, it's not even all that uncommon.
But if, say, Chase Utley were to be the MVP for the 2008 season - now that would be something.
Since the Base Ball Writers Association of America wisely started handing out post-season awards, three different players took home MVP honors in consecutive seasons just four times.
In the National League, from 1938 to 1940, the Cincinnati Reds had Ernie Lombardi, Bucky Walters and Frank McCormick were first to pull off the feat. After a Brooklyn Dodger won in 1941, the St. Louis Cardinals' triple threat of Mort Cooper, Stan Musial and Marty Marion did it.
In the American League, Yankees Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon and Spuds Chandler won the MVP from 1941 to 1943. Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle and Elston Howard did it again for the Yanks from 1961 to 1963. Add in Maris' MVP Award from 1960 and that's the only instance where three different players from the same team won four MVP Awards.
Are the Phillies next? Certainly Utley is making a strong case, though, of course, there are 111 games remaining in the season. Actually, though, Utley still leads the National League with 16 homers (on pace for 49) and is fourth with 42 RBIs (128 pace) despite scuffling through a 12-game span where he went 6-for-43(.1395).
In the eight games since snapping his funk, Utley is 10-for-31 with two homers and 11 RBIs. Not bad. Obviously, though, yesterday's six-RBIs outing with three hits inflated the numbers, but that's baseball.
The point is Utley is good. With Lance Berkman and Chipper Jones, Utley is right there.