The 1995 National League MVP race was a truly bizarre one, and Colorado Rockies legend Dante Bichette was right in the middle of it.

He led the league in hits (197) home runs (40) RBI (128) Slugging (.620) and total bases (359) and ended up placing second to Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin.

Larkin didn’t lead the league in any offensive categories but did win his second of three consecutive Gold Gloves. Though nobody knew what the heck a WAR was at the time, Larkin’s defense and Bichette’s lack of defense (which is another deep dive for another time) gave the Red a strong edge over the Rockie.

But if we were to go back in time and apply a modern standard to that year’s race, things would look very different.

Greg Maddux actually comfortably led the NL in Wins Above Replacement with a massive 9.6 but if you are of the (understandable) position that pitchers shouldn’t win MVP because they have their own award, it was Barry Bonds who got the biggest snub, placing second in WAR with 7.5 but 12th in voting.

This is surely because so much of his value came from a flabberghasting 120 walks, 40 more than second place. Somebody cue up Brad Pitt pointing at Jonah Hill… he got on base.

Next came Reggie Sanders, also of the Reds, followed by stalwarts of the era Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza.

Of the 23 players who received MVP votes, despite finishing second and leading the NL in five different categories, Bichette’s WAR ranks him 22nd ahead of only, oddly enough, Andres Galarraga.

This strange dynamic would follow Bichette throughout his career without almost anyone realizing it at the time. 

He played seven years in Colorado, posted an impressive .316/.352/.540 slashline and can be found across almost all of the club’s all-time leaderboards for everything from home runs to stolen bases.

And yet, he amassed a grand total of 4.8 WAR. For reference, Ryan McMahon has accumulated 12.6 over his career and 6.2 over the last two years.

Either the numbers are over punishing him for bad defense, a debate raging in 2023 with regards to Kyle Schwarber, or Bichette might have been slightly overrated as an overall player. Either way he will always remain an icon in Denver for what he did at the plate.