The feel-good story that was the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates continued Thursday with outfielder Andrew McCutchen's selection as National League Most Valuable Player.
McCutchen's victory – a landslide win over Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt – gave the Pirates their first MVP since Barry Bonds in 1992, which also was the last time the franchise had a winning record until this season's run that ended in an NL Division Series loss to St. Louis.
Coupled with Clint Hurdle's selection Tuesday at NL Manager of the Year, McCutchen makes Pittsburgh the only team to win more than one of the season's major awards given out by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
McCutchen received 28 of the 30 first place votes.
McCutchen, the team's 2005 first-round pick, has become the face of the rejuvenated franchise and, with a contract in hand through at least 2017, is moving to special territory as the franchise's biggest icon since Willie Stargell led two World Series winners in the 1970s.
That was a gamble he took when signing the five-year contract extension (plus a club option for 2018) before the 2012 season, when the Pirates were still a season away from ending what became a pro sports record 20-year string of losing records.
The streak ended this year with a 94-win team sparked by McCutchen, who led the Pirates in hits, runs, doubles, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
McCutchen led the NL in the offensive portion of Wins Above Replacement and was second to Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez in overall WAR, which also includes defense.
In a year without a dominant offensive player, McCutchen joined Goldschmidt and Washington's Jayson Werth as the only NL players to finish among the Top 7 in batting, on-base and slugging. And, but for a slow April, McCutchen could have been more of a factor in the batting race than his seventh-place finish at .317.
From April 30 to the end of the season, McCutchen hit .336, best in the league over that span.
Goldschmidt led the NL in homers, RBI, slugging and OPS but his Diamondbacks weren't in the playoff race like McCutchen's Pirates and Molina's Cardinals.