U.S. States That Have Born the Most MVPs

Credit: yhelfman/Shutterstock

Spring is one of the busiest periods on the professional sports calendar of any year. The opening day for the 2022 Major League Baseball season fell on April 7 this year. The National Basketball Association and National Hockey League both finish their regular seasons and begin their playoffs in April. While football fans will have to wait until the fall for their teams to take back the field, many pro football obsessives are eagerly awaiting the next generation of players who will enter the league with the National Football League draft in April.

This exciting time for fans of the ‘Big Four’ sports in the US is fast becoming a global phenomenon as the leagues continue to attract top international talent. Reigning American League MVP and native of Japan Shohei Ohtani revolutionized MLB as one of the first players in generations to simultaneously succeed as a pitcher, hitter and fielder, while many of baseball’s other top stars, including recent MVPs such as Jose Abreu and Jose , successful were Altuve, come from Latin America.

The NBA’s last three MVP awards have gone to international players — two for Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo and one for Serbian Nikola Jokic — and a fourth looks likely, with Cameroonian Antetokounmpo, Jokic and Joel Embiid leading the way in this year’s award. The NHL has long drawn a large portion of its player pool from Canada and Europe, alongside the US, and even the NFL — which only has about 3% international players — has attempted to generate more global interest by hosting regular-season games in the UK, Mexico and Germany.

Despite the recent growth in the international talent pool of Big Four sports, international players still make up a small portion of past MVP winners. The US produced 70% of all MVP award winners, while Canada accounted for 20.6% of winners and all other countries combined produced 9.4%. Only 15 countries outside of Canada and the US have ever produced MVPs.

For now, the US remains the leading producer of top talent in its major sports leagues, and some states are way ahead. California, in particular, is a hotbed of MVPs Bonds (7 MVP awards total) and Aaron Rodgers (4) and Tom Brady (3) of the, with 47 all-time winners, nearly half (21) of whom have been recognized since 2000 NFL.

In fact, California alone has produced more than 10% of all Big Four MVP winners in history. California and many of the other leading states are among the most populous US states, increasing the number of elite athletes that can emerge from those states. But one state stands out by surpassing its weight: Louisiana. Despite being mid-table for U.S. population, Bayou State has produced 19 MVP awards from nine unique winners, including 10 NBA MVPs, second only to New York’s 13, and eight NFL MVPs, behind only California’s 12 .

HotDog.com researchers ranked US states and territories by the total number of MVP awards won by the Big Four athletes who were born in each location. All NFL MVP awards made since the NFL-AFL merger agreement in 1966–67 have been included. all NBA MVP and NHL Hart Memorial Trophy winners were included; and all of the MLB’s AL and NL Baseball Writers’ Association of America Most Valuable Player Award winners were included. In the event of a tie, the location with the greater number of unique MVP award winners was ranked higher, also taking into account recency.

Here are the states that have produced the most MVPs.

The US states that produced the most MVPs

Photo credit: f11photo / Shutterstock

20.South Carolina

  • Total MVP Awards: 4
  • Various MVP award winners: 4
  • Total NFL MVPs: 0
  • Total NBA MVPs: 1
  • Total MLB MVPs: 3
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2003

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

19. Indiana

  • Total MVP Awards: 5
  • Various MVP award winners: 3
  • Total NFL MVPs: 0
  • Total NBA MVPs: 3
  • Total MLB MVPs: 2
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 1985

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

18. Mississippi

  • Total MVP Awards: 5
  • Various MVP award winners: 3
  • Total NFL MVPs: 4
  • Total NBA MVPs: 0
  • Total MLB MVPs: 1
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2003

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

17. Oklahoma

  • Total MVP Awards: 6
  • Various MVP award winners: 3
  • Total NFL MVPs: 0
  • Total NBA MVPs: 0
  • Total MLB MVPs: 6
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 1979

Photo credit: f11photo / Shutterstock

16. Maryland

  • Total MVP Awards: 6
  • Various MVP award winners: 3
  • Total NFL MVPs: 0
  • Total NBA MVPs: 0
  • Total MLB MVPs: 6
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 1991

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

15. Puerto Rico

  • Total MVP Awards: 6
  • Various MVP award winners: 5
  • Total NFL MVPs: 0
  • Total NBA MVPs: 0
  • Total MLB MVPs: 6
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 1999

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

14. Georgia

  • Total MVP Awards: 6
  • Various MVP award winners: 5
  • Total NFL MVPs: 1
  • Total NBA MVPs: 0
  • Total MLB MVPs: 5
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2015

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

13. Va

  • Total MVP Awards: 7
  • Various MVP award winners: 5
  • Total NFL MVPs: 2
  • Total NBA MVPs: 4
  • Total MLB MVPs: 1
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2011

Credit: Mihai_Andritoiu/Shutterstock

12. New Jersey

  • Total MVP Awards: 7
  • Various MVP award winners: 5
  • Total NFL MVPs: 1
  • Total NBA MVPs: 1
  • Total MLB MVPs: 5
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2019

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

11. Alabama

  • Total MVP Awards: 7
  • Various MVP award winners: 6
  • Total NFL MVPs: 1
  • Total NBA MVPs: 1
  • Total MLB MVPs: 5
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 1992

Photo credit: f11photo / Shutterstock

10.Michigan

  • Total MVP Awards: 8th
  • Various MVP award winners: 5
  • Total NFL MVPs: 1
  • Total NBA MVPs: 3
  • Total MLB MVPs: 4
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 1989

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9. Missouri

  • Total MVP Awards: 9
  • Various MVP award winners: 6
  • Total NFL MVPs: 0
  • Total NBA MVPs: 0
  • Total MLB MVPs: 9
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2006

Photo Credit: Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

8.Florida

  • Total MVP Awards: 9
  • Various MVP award winners: 9
  • Total NFL MVPs: 2
  • Total NBA MVPs: 1
  • Total MLB MVPs: 6
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2019

Photo credit: f11photo / Shutterstock

7. Illinois

  • Total MVP Awards: 10
  • Various MVP award winners: 9
  • Total NFL MVPs: 2
  • Total NBA MVPs: 1
  • Total MLB MVPs: 7
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2010

Photo credit: CK Photo / Shutterstock

6.Texas

  • Total MVP Awards: 14
  • Various MVP award winners: 11
  • Total NFL MVPs: 6
  • Total NBA MVPs: 0
  • Total MLB MVPs: 8th
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2018

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5.Ohio

  • Total MVP Awards: 15
  • Various MVP award winners: 9
  • Total NFL MVPs: 1
  • Total NBA MVPs: 6
  • Total MLB MVPs: 8th
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2015

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

4.Louisiana

  • Total MVP Awards: 19
  • Various MVP award winners: 9
  • Total NFL MVPs: 8th
  • Total NBA MVPs: 10
  • Total MLB MVPs: 1
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2013

Image credit: AevanStock/Shutterstock

3. Pennsylvania

  • Total MVP Awards: 26
  • Various MVP award winners: 18
  • Total NFL MVPs: 7
  • Total NBA MVPs: 5
  • Total MLB MVPs: 14
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2016

Photo credit: Lukas Uher / Shutterstock

2. New York

  • Total MVP Awards: 29
  • Various MVP award winners: 17
  • Total NFL MVPs: 1
  • Total NBA MVPs: 13
  • Total MLB MVPs: 13
  • Total NHL MVPs: 2
  • Last award: 2015

Credit: yhelfman/Shutterstock

1. California

  • Total MVP Awards: 47
  • Various MVP award winners: 33
  • Total NFL MVPs: 12
  • Total NBA MVPs: 3
  • Total MLB MVPs: 32
  • Total NHL MVPs: 0
  • Last award: 2021

Detailed results and methodology

Researchers ranked US states and territories by the total number of MVP awards won by “Big Four” athletes who were born in each location. All NFL MVP awards made since the NFL-AFL merger agreement in 1966–67 have been included. all NBA MVP and NHL Hart Memorial Trophy winners were included; and all of the MLB’s AL and NL Baseball Writers’ Association of America Most Valuable Player Award winners were included. In the event of a tie, the location with the greater number of unique MVP award winners was ranked higher. Further ties were broken by the site to earn the recent MVP award. The data comes from pro-football-reference.com, basketball-reference.com, baseball-reference.com and hockey-reference.com.

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