Nashvillian, MVP favorite has quickly won the heart of Red Sox Nation
By Tom Wood / For The Ledger
A month or so ago, Boston fans selected Nashville native Mookie Betts as their favorite Red Sox player in the fifth annual New England Sports Survey.
And in voting for the player “most admired for their contributions to the team,” it wasn’t even close. The 23-year-old Overton High School graduate drew 34 percent of the votes – well ahead of the 21 percent accorded David “Big Papi” Ortiz, who is having a stellar final season for the Red Sox and is one of the most popular New England sports figure of all time.
The survey, conducted by Channel Media & Market Research polled 10,968 Red Sox fans, a healthy sampling.
Come mid-November, we’ll find out if the rest of the baseball world agrees – or perhaps the other way around – when the American League Most Valuable Player and other postseason honors are announced.
Betts and Ortiz are considered by many baseball observers as among five front-runners for the annual honor along with Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, third baseman Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays (the defending AL MVP) and outfielder Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels. Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is also a leading contender.
“Mookie absolutely is going to come down to the wire as one of the finalists in the American League for MVP. I think he’s got a real shot to win it,” says Buster Olney, a former Nashville Banner sports writer who now is a senior writer for ESPN and also serves as the network’s MLB analyst and Sunday Night Baseball reporter.
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