Winning MLB MVP honors one time is a big deal, but what players have the most MLB MVPs?
Who are the players who have taken home MVP honors on more than one occasion?
Answering that question will undoubtedly give us a list of the greatest MLB players of all time and some of the true legends of the game.
Players with most MLB MVPs
To help us distinguish the best of the best we wanted to create a list of players with the most MVP awards in baseball history. Since we wanted to keep this list exclusive as possible, we didn’t even include the players with two MVPs.
For the record, we only went back to 1931 when the first modern MVP award was given out. With that in mind, here are the players with the most MLB MVPs.
Alex Rodriguez (3)
Needless to say, there is some controversy surrounding Alex Rodriguez and his three MVP awards. He won them in 2003, 2005, and 2007, taking home three in a five-year span. For any other player, that would be an exceptional accomplishment.
But with A-Rod, we know that he won all three of his MVPs after he started using PEDs. Of course, he posted some impressive numbers in those years, including 54 home runs and 156 RBIs in 2007. However, many baseball fans would like to put an asterisk next to his three MVP awards.
Mike Trout (3)
When all is said and done, Mike Trout could end up with more than three MVPs on his resume. But heading into the 2023 season, he’s already among the players with the most MVP awards in MLB history, winning the award three times. His first came in 2014, just two years after Trout won Rookie of the Year honors.
Trout won MVP honors again in 2016 and 2019 with the latter being arguably the best season of his career. For what it’s worth, Trout posted better numbers in 2017 and 2018 than he did in 2014 and 2016. But that’s how it works with the MVP award.
It’s also worth noting that when Trout won MVP in 2016, he became just the second player in MLB to finish first or second in MVP voting in five straight seasons, putting him in exclusive company alongside Barry Bonds.
Mickey Mantle (3)
Many fans might be surprised to learn that Mickey Mantle only won three MVPs during his incredible career. His first came in 1956 when he won the Triple Crown, making it easy to give him MVP honors.
Mantle hit .353 with 52 home runs that season, which is an amazing accomplishment in any generation. He won MVP again the following year after batting .365, albeit with less power.
Mantle’s final MVP award came in 1962, which was also the year that he won his only Gold Glove. Fittingly, Mantle’s final MVP came in the same year that he won his seventh and final World Series.
Jimmie Foxx (3)
Not only did Jimmie Foxx win MVP honors three times, but he also did so with two different teams, making him something of an outlier.
He won back-to-back MVPs in 1932 and 1933 while playing with the Philadelphia Athletics with the second MVP coming the year he won the Triple Crown. Foxx was later sold to the Red Sox and took home MVP honors in 1938 while playing in Boston. In fact, he was the runner-up for MVP in 1939, coming close to winning back-to-back MVPs on multiple occasions.
Yogi Berra (3)
Like so many of the great Yankees of his era, Yogi Berra won multiple MVPs and won more World Series rings than he knows what to do with. In Berra’s case, he helped the Yankees to win the World Series 10 times as a player from 1946 to 1963 before adding three more as a coach.
More importantly, Berra took home MVP honors three times, doing so in a five-year span from 1951 to 1955. Somehow, Berra won three MVPs without winning a batting title, Gold Glove, or home run title.
However, the diminutive catcher was invaluable to the Yankees behind the plate and one of the great clutch hitters in baseball history. Oddly enough, the Yankees only won the World Series once in Berra’s MVP seasons, although during the team’s dynasty, Berra was a top-5 finisher in the MVP voting in seven straight seasons.
Stan Musial (3)
In the National League, the 1940s and 50s belonged to Stan Musial and the Cardinals. The Cards won three World Series between 1942 and 1946 while Musial won three MVP Awards between 1943 and 1948, which is no coincidence.
During his career, Musial also won seven batting titles. The first three came during his MVP years, but he would win four more during the 1950s, including a stretch of three in a row. Also, following his last MVP in 1948, Musial finished second in the voting for three straight seasons, coming close to winning more than three.
Joe DiMaggio (3)
The remarkable thing about Joe DiMaggio is that he missed three years during the prime of his career while serving in World War II. He also won MVP awards on each side of his service.
DiMaggio won the award in both 1939 and 1941 and then didn’t play between 1943 and 1945, only to win MVP again in 1947. Keep in mind that his MVP in 1941 came the same year as his unbreakable 56-game hitting streak.
Yet, DiMaggio lost out on winning his third straight batting title that season by a small margin. Fortunately, it wasn’t enough to deny him MVP honors. It’s also worth mentioning that DiMaggio finished as the runner-up for MVP two other times, so he was close to ranking even higher on the list of the most MLB MVPs.
Albert Pujols (3)
As one of the best pure hitters in baseball history, Albert Pujols is also the owner of three MVP awards. Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, there was almost no player who was more impactful.
His first MVP came in 2005 with Pujols later winning back-to-back awards in 2008 and 2009. In the grander scheme of things, Pujols probably deserved to win more than just three MVPs. He came close too, finishing as the runner-up four times, all during his time in St. Louis.
Roy Campanella (3)
Officially, Roy Campanella won three MVP awards in the big leagues. Those came in a five-year span from 1951 to 1955 while Campanella became an all-star in eight straight seasons. But keep in mind that Campanella didn’t join the Dodgers until 1948, one year after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.
Before that, Campanella had some monster seasons in the Negro Leagues. Since he didn’t get to the majors until he was 27, Campanella could have made a push for more MVPs if baseball had integrated sooner.
Mike Schmidt (3)
There is no greater third baseman in baseball history than Mike Schmidt, and his three MVPs are a big reason why. Schmidt also won 10 Gold Gloves and led the National League in home runs eight times, which also helps to explain his three MVPs.
The first two came in 1980 and 1981 with Schmidt helping the Phillies to their first-ever World Series title in 1980. Later in his career, following a down season in which Schmidt didn’t even make the All-Star Team, he took home MVP honors again in 1986 to help put the finishing touches on an amazing career.
Barry Bonds (7)
It’ll be hard for anyone to ever break the record of seven MVP Awards that Barry Bonds owns. The first three came in a four-year span between 1990 and 1993 when Bonds was still a little scrawny. After bulking (and juicing) up, Bonds went on to win MVP in four straight seasons from 2001 to 2004.
In those four years, Bonds hit 209 home runs, including his record-setting 73 in 2001. On top of that, he was MVP runner-up in 1992 and 2000, so he easily could have won four in a row early in his career and five in a row later in his career.
But because of his connection to PEDs, those seven MVPs won’t get him into the Hall of Fame.