Today in Sports History: October 11

By Veronica An

Major League Baseball (MLB) gave its first-ever MVP award to Ty Cobb in 1911 – a full ten years after the National League and American League merged. Although this award was different than the current MVP accolade, this was the start of individual player recognition. According to Bleacher Report, the 1911 MVP award was a PR stunt by Hugh Chalmers of the Chalmers Automobile Company. Chalmers vowed to gift a top-of-the-line car to the player with the highest batting average in 1911. Cobb won the automobile (with a .367 batting average in 1911) and was known as a power player during his time on the field. He hit .320 or better for 22 consecutive seasons including over .400 three times. Cobb played three World Series with the Tigers and served as player-manager of the Tigers from 1921-1926. In 1936, Cobb was the first player voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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