On Nov. 13, 2014, Clayton Kershaw was announced as the winner of the National League MVP Award, adding it to what was a third career Cy Young. Kershaw was the first Los Angeles Dodgers player to earn MVP honors since Kirk Gibson in 1988.
Prior to Kershaw the Dodgers’ last pitcher to win MVP was Don Newcombe in 1956, who also won a Cy Young Award that season. More notably, however, the left-hander was the first NL pitcher to win Cy Young and MVP in the same year since Bob Gibson swept the awards in 1968.
The Dodgers’ ace bested Giancarlo Stanton and Andrew McCutchen by receiving 18 of 30 first-place votes and tallying a total of 355 points. Stanton garnered eight first-place votes and finished in a distant second place with 298 points.
The MVP Award capped off a dominant season for Kershaw, albeit one that began with some concern. After winning his first start of 2014 — against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney, Australia — Kershaw was placed on the injured list for the first time in his career.
He missed more than a month but pitched at a peak level upon returning. The Dodgers were 21-4 in Kershaw’s starts that season, and just three games over .500 when another starter was on the mound.
OTD in 2014, Clayton Kershaw became the first pitcher to win NL MVP since Bob Gibson in 1968. pic.twitter.com/PdwTAUYZPA
— MLB (@MLB) November 13, 2019
Kershaw finished the year a remarkable 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.86 WHIP over 26 starts. He won a fourth consecutive ERA title while also leading the Majors in wins, WHIP and complete games (six).
Of course, among the in-season highlights was a first career no-hitter. Kershaw collected 15 strikeouts against the Colorado Rockies and was a Hanley Ramirez error from throwing a perfect game.
Nevertheless, Kershaw’s 102 Game Score was the second-best nine-inning performance in MLB history. It additionally was just the 18th instance since 1914 in which a pitcher struck out 15 or more batters without issuing a walk, allowing a home run or hitting a batter.