Pittsburgh Pirates: Ranking the Team’s Eight MVP Seasons

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 31: Former Pirate MVPs Dick Groat and Barry Bonds stand with 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during Opening Day at PNC Park on March 31, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 31: Former Pirate MVPs Dick Groat and Barry Bonds stand with 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during Opening Day at PNC Park on March 31, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – 1978: Dave Parker of the Pittsburgh Pirates leads off first base during a Major League Baseball game at Three Rivers Stadium in 1978 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Parker is wearing a football helmet type faceguard attached to his batting helmet to protect a fractured jaw and cheekbone. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – 1978: Dave Parker of the Pittsburgh Pirates leads off first base during a Major League Baseball game at Three Rivers Stadium in 1978 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Parker is wearing a football helmet type faceguard attached to his batting helmet to protect a fractured jaw and cheekbone. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

1978 National League MVP – Dave Parker

In 1978 and 1979, the Pittsburgh Pirates had back-to-back National League MVP Award winners. As we talked about earlier, Stargell won it in 1979. Dave Parker was the winner in 1978.

During the 1978 season, Parker was a force to be reckoned with at the plate. In 642 plate appearances, The Cobra hit for a .334/.384/.585 slash line to go with 30 home runs and a 166 OPS+ and 167 wRC+.

Although Parker wasn’t the best of fielders with 0 total zone runs above average, he passed the eye test and won a Gold Glove Award, too. He also threw out 13 runners with his incredible arm that rivaled the aforementioned Clemente.

Parker was well deserving of the MVP this season. Not only did he pass the classic test, leading the league in batting average, having a good home run total, and having over 100 RBIs, but he also would have passed the much more accurate tests of performance today. Parker led the league in OPS+, wRC+, OPS, and was one of three players to have at least both 30 home runs and 20 stolen bases. Parker also was a good base runner with 1.4 base running runs above average. Overall, his fWAR was 6.8 which was 3rd in all of baseball and led the National League.