On this date 41 years ago Cardinals third baseman Joe Torre was named the National League MVP.
His league leading .363 batting average and 137 RBIs were impressive. But Torre's all around high level of play was an especially exceptional accomplishment because of the fact that it was Torre's first season as a full time third sacker.
Torre was primarily a catcher or a first baseman in his previous decade of major league experience before the Redbirds tried him at the hot corner for the first time in 1970. He played 71 games at third that season compared to 90 behind the plate. He arrived at spring training in 1971 to find that manager Red Schoendienst had penciled him into the line up as the starter at the hot corner.
Third base isn't an easy position to play. So I find it to be pretty amazing that Torre was able to take his offense to a new level while trying to master an unfamiliar position in the field.
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A nine time All-Star, Torre went on to manage the Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees and Dodgers after his playing days were over.