Rodriguez, 28, led the AL in home runs (47), runs scored (124), and slugging percentage at .600. Only four other players, Mickey Mantle, Carl Yastrzemski, Albert Belle, and Ken Griffey Jr., have led the league in those categories in one season.
Rodriguez also finished second in the league this year in RBI with 118 and was among the leaders in total bases, extra-base hits, walks, and on-base percentage.
Rodriguez became only the second player to win an MVP Award while playing for a last-place team, as Andre Dawson accomplished the feat while with the Chicago Cubs in 1987. The last AL shortstop to win the award was Cal Ripken Jr., Rodriguez's idol, in 1991.