Lot 779: 1996 Juan Gonzalez American League Most Valuable Player Award
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Auction Date:1/10/2014 9:00 PM EST
Juan Gonzalez led a power-packed Rangers lineup into the playoffs in 1996, racking up 47 home runs and 144 RBI while batting .314. Thanks to those gaudy numbers, the outfielder earned the first of his two American League Most Valuable Player awards. This is the only one that exists, and "Juan Gone" signed the back in silver paint pen: "MY ORIGINAL, JUAN GONZALEZ MVP 1996." MVP awards are very rare commodities, and this one is a Herff Jones beauty, coming directly to us from Gonzalez's very hands. Measuring 16" wide and tall, it reads: "KENESAW MOUNTAIN LANDIS MEMORIAL BASEBALL AWARD MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AMERICAN LEAGUE." There are gold metal accents, one being a Landis cameo with his years as commissioner (1921-1944) listed. There's a baseball with crossed bats and the year 1996, the Baseball Writers Association of America logo and, naturally, a plate for the honoree: "JUAN GONZALEZ TEXAS RANGERS." The award is in EX-MT condition with only slight tarnishing to the plate. The BBWAA began disseminating MVP awards in 1931, and it was named in honor of Landis in 1944.
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