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Athletes Who Won MVP Before Turning 25

Updated February 1, 2020 1.1k votes 66 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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  • 1
    Wilt Chamberlain

    Named NBA MVP at age 23 in 1959-60.

    1959-60 stats: Points: 37.6, Rebounds: 27, Assists: 2.3

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  • 2
    Michael Jordan

    Named NBA MVP at age 24 in 1987-88.

    1987-88 stats: Points: 35.0, Rebounds: 5.5, Assists: 5.9

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  • 3
    Hank Aaron

    Named NL MVP at age 23 in 1957.

    1957 stats: BA .322, HR: 44, RBI: 132

  • 4
    Wayne Gretzky

    Named NHL MVP at age 19 in 1979-80.

    1979-80 stats: 51 goals, 86 assists, 137 points.

     

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  • 5
    Lou Gehrig

    Named AL MVP at age 24 in 1927.

    1927 stats: BA: .373, HR: 47, RBI: 173.

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  • 6
    Walter Payton

    Named NFL MVP at age 23 in 1977.

    1977 stats: Yards; 1852, Touchdowns: 14

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  • 7
    Willie Mays

    Named NL MVP at age 23 in 1954. 

    1954 stats: BA: .345, HR: 41, RBI: 110

  • 8
    Gordie Howe

    Named NHL MVP at age 23 in 1951-52.

    1951-52 stats: Goals: 47, Assists: 39, Points: 86

  • 9
    Mickey Mantle

    Named AL MVP at age 24 in 1956.
    1956 stats: BA: .353, HR: 52, RBI: 130

  • 10
    Dan Marino

    Named NFL MVP at age 23 in 1984.

    1984 stats: Yards: 5084, Touchdowns: 48

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  • 11
    Mario Lemieux

    Named NHL MVP at age 22 in 1987-88

    1987-88 stats: 70 goals, 98 assists, 168 points.

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  • 12
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    Named NBA MVP at age 23 in 1970-71.

    1970-71 stats: Points: 31.7, Rebounds: 16.0, Assists: 3.3

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  • 13
    Bill Russell

    Named NBA MVP at age 23 in 1957-58.

    1957-58 stats: Points: 16.6, Rebounds: 22.7, Assists: 2.9

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  • 14
    LeBron James

    Named NBA MVP at age 24 in 2008-09.

    2008-09 stats: Points: 28.4, Rebounds: 7.6, Assists: 7.2

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  • 15
    Joe DiMaggio

    Named AL MVP at age 24 in 1939.

    1939 stats: BA: .381, HR: 30, RBI: 126

  • 16
    Mike Trout

    Named AL MVP at age 22 in 2014.

    2014 stats: BA: .287, HR: 36, RBI: 111 

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  • 17
    Stan Musial

    Named NL MVP at age 22 in 1943.

    1943 stats: BA: .357, HR: 13, RBI: 81

  • 18
    Bobby Orr

    Named NHL MVP at age 22 in 1969-70.

    1969-70 stats: 33 goals, 87 assists, 120 points.

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  • 19
    Sidney Crosby

    Named NHL MVP at age 20 in 2006-07.

    2006-07 stats: 36 goals, 84 assists, 120 points.

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  • 20
    Cal Ripken, Jr.

    Named AL MVP at age 23 in 1983.

    1983 stats: BA: .318, HR: 27, RBI: 102

  • 21
    Roger Clemens

    Named AL MVP at age 23 in 1986.

    1986 stats: W/L%: .857 HR: 21 Strikeouts: 238

  • 22
    Moses Malone

    Named NBA MVP at 23 in 1978-79.

    1978-79 stats: Points: 24.8, Rebounds: 17.6, Assists: 1.8

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  • 23
    Hank Greenberg

    Named AL MVP at age 24 in 1935.

    1935 stats: BA: .328, HR: 36, RBI: 168

  • 24
    Hal Newhouser

    Named AL MVP at age 23 in 1944.

    1944 stats: W/L%: .763, ERA: 2.22, Strikeouts: 187

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  • 25
    Jimmie Foxx

    Named AL MVP at age 24 in 1932.

    1932 stats: BA: .364, HR: 58, RBI: 169