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Athletes Who Won MVP Before Turning 25

Updated February 1, 2020 1.1k votes 68 voters56 items

List RulesVote up the MVPs who had the most impressive seasons at a young age.

Sports may be the domain of the young, but even the best athletes still need time to mature once they turn pro. However, the youngest MVP winners in sports history all show that no matter what sport you're playing - baseball, football, basketball, or hockey - greatness can be there from the very beginning.

Wayne Greztky is the youngest MVP winner in any of the four major sports, winning his first Hart Trophy at age 19. After entering the NHL at 18, Gretzky won eight consecutive Hart Trophies, including five before the age of 25. There's a reason he's called The Great One. Meanwhile, the NBA's greatest scorer, Wilt Chamberlain, was just 23 when he won his MVP award for a season in which he averaged more than 37 points and 27 rebounds per game. Hank Aaron and Willie Mays are among the great MLB players to win early MVPs and Walter Payton and Patrick Mahomes are among the NFL stars to win MVP at a young age.

So check out this list of the best young stars in sports history, and vote up the players who had the top MVP seasons before they turned 25. Then head over and check out some of the oldest MVP winners in sports history.

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  • Bob McAdoo26

    Named NBA MVP at 23 in 1974-75.

    1974-75 stats: Points: 34.5, Rebounds: 14.1, Assists: 2.2

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  • Earl Campbell27

    Named NFL MVP at age 24 in 1979.

    1979 stats: Yards: 1697, Touchdowns: 19

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  • Jim Brown28

    Named NFL MVP at age 21 in 1957.

    1957 stats: Yards: 942, Touchdowns: 9

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  • Johnny Bench29

    Named NL MVP at age 22 in 1970.

    1970 stats: BA: .293, HR: 45, RBI: 148

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  • Patrick Mahomes II30
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    Patrick Mahomes II

    Named NFL MVP at age 23 in 2018.

    2018 stats: Yards: 5,097, Touchdowns: 50

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  • Denny McLain31

    Named AL MVP at 24 in 1968.

    1968 stats: W/L%: .838, ERA: 1.96, Strikeouts: 280

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  • Nels Stewart32

    Named NHL MVP at age 24 in 1925-26.

    1925-26 stats: 34 goals, 8 assists, 42 points.

  • Connor McDavid33

    Named NHL MVP at age 20 in 2016-17.

    2016-2017 stats: 30 goals, 70 assists, 100 points.

  • Billy Burch34
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    Billy Burch

    Named NHL MVP at age 24 in 1924-25.

    1924-25 stats: 20 goals, 6 assists, 26 points.

  • Bob Pettit35

    Named NBA MVP at age 23 in 1955-56.

    1955-56 stats: Points: 25.7, Rebounds: 16.2, Assists: 2.6

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  • Dizzy Dean36

    Named NL MVP at age 24 in 1934. 

    1934 stats: W/L%: .811, ERA: 2.66, Strikeouts: 195

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  • Don Mattingly37

    Named AL MVP at age 24 in 1985.

    1985 stats: BA: .324, HR: 35, RBI: 145

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  • Dustin Pedroia38

    Named AL MVP at age 24 in 2008. 

    2008 stats: BA: .326, HR: 17, RBI: 83

  • Jeff Burroughs39

    Named AL MVP at age 23 in 1974.

    1974 stats: BA: .301, HR: 25, RBI: 118

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  • Jose Canseco40

    Named AL MVP at age 23 in 1988.

    1988 stats: AB: .307, HR: 42, Strikeouts: 128

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  • Vida Blue41

    Named AL MVP at age 22 in 1971.

    1971 stats: W/L% .750, ERA: 1.82, Strikeouts: 301.

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  • Eric Lindros42

    Named NHL MVP at age 22 in 1994-95.

    1994-95 stats: 29 goals, 41 assists, 70 points.

  • Paul Waner43

    Named NL MVP at age 24 in 1927.

    1927 stats: BA: .380, HR: 9, RBI: 131

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  • Ryne Sandberg44

    Named NL MVP at age 24 in 1984.

    1984 stats: BA: .314, HR: 19, RBI: 84

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  • Giannis Antetokounmpo45

    Named NBA MVP at age 24 in 2018-19. 

    2018-19 stats: Points: 27.7, Rebounds: 12.5, Assists: 5.9

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  • Cody Bellinger46

    Named NL MVP at 23 in 2019.

    2019 stats: BA: .305, HR: 47, RBI: 115

  • Lamar Jackson47
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    Lamar Jackson

    Named NFL MVP at age 22 in 2020.

    2019 stats: 265-for-401, 3,126 yards passing, 36 TDs passing, 1,206 yards rushing, 7 TDs rushing

  • Alexander Ovechkin48

    Named NHL MVP at age 23 in 2007-08.

    2007-08 stats: 65 goals, 47 assists, 112 points.

  • Bryce Harper49

    Named NL MVP at age 22 in 2015.

    2015 stats: BA: .460, HR: 42, RBI: 99

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  • Dave Cowens50

    Named NBA MVP at age 24 in 1972-73.

    1972-73 stats: Points: 20.5, Rebounds: 16.2, Assists: 4.1

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