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Mantle is American League MVP

Nov. 20, 1962 - Mickey Mantle, beaten by narrow margins the last two years in controversial contests for the American League’s annual most-valuable-player award, today won one that probably came as a surprise even to him. The renowned 31-year-old slugger of the world champion Yankees, shackled for almost a third of the season with injuries, nevertheless scored a decisive victory for the league’s 1962 award with a total of 234 points. Bobby Richardson, the Yankees’ crack second baseman and generally regarded as a strong favorite for the prize, placed second with 152 points in the poll of the Baseball Writers Association committee. Roger Maris, who had defeated Mantle in the 1960 and 1961 photo finishes, finished nowhere at all, although he hit 33 home runs. In 1960, Maris topped Mantle, 202 points to 198, although Mantle had nipped Maris for the home run title, 40 to 39. Many disagreed loudly with this result. Last year, the contest was even closer, despite Maris’s record feat. Roger won this one, 225-222, and again the result brought sharp criticism. Mantle’s tremendous value to the Yankees was never denied over the past season. He batted .321, and he hit 30 home runs. However, because of repeated injuries, he was able to appear in only 123 of the Yankees’ 162 games, and in more than a dozen of these he appeared only as a part-time player or pinch-hitter. He also slumped badly in the World Series, although World Series play does not count in the voting.

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