November 4th, 2008, perhaps the most historic day in U.S. History. Today, the hopes and dreams of millions of Red Sox fans were realized, when Most Valuable Player (MVP) candidate Dustin Pedroia was selected as MVP in the Internet Baseball Awards. The results were called by Baseball Prospectus around 10am on Tuesday.
From Tallahasee to Portland (both coasts), 1,400 voters fired up their high-speed internet connections, told their mothers not to disturb them, and placed their votes. When the dust had settled, one man was Dustin the competition. Pedroia made history by being only the second player to win IBA MVP the year after he was rookie of the year. The first was former Red Sox Nomar Garciaparra.
The contest was fierce, especially in battleground basements, but in the end, Pedroia's superior organization and fundraising proved pivotal. Curt Schilling's prominence on EverQuest was cited by analysts as a critical factor. Advocacy by non-partisan sources may have also played a role. Pedroia was second in first-place votes to Joe Mauer(408 to 423), but he gained a clear majority in second place votes (319-240). Overall, Pedroia won by 12,963 points to Mauer's 11,416. Grady Sizemore placed third with 7,871 points.
Other Red Sox players were also in voters' consideration, both for MVP and for other awards. Kevin Youkilis placed sixth in the MVP race (6391 points). Jon Lester and Daisuke Matsuzaka were third and fifth, respectively, in the Cy Young race. Among rookies, Jacoby Ellsbury was fifth for the Rookie of the Year award. And Terry Francona was third in Manager of the Year award voting.
Congratulations to all the Sox players nominated, to Dustin Pedroia and to the other winners, and to all the brave people who voted in the IBA elections.