Only 7 athletes from major team sports have won more MVPs than Aaron Rodgers

Here’s some impressive historical background in which Aaron Rodgers won his fourth MVP title: Only seven athletes in America’s four major team sports have won more.

And all of them are legendary names.

Peyton Manning, of course, holds the NFL record with five MVP awards.

Bill Russell and Michael Jordan have won five times in the NBA.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a six-time NBA MVP, as was Gordie Howe in the NHL.

Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds has won seven MVPs – all but one with the Giants.

Alone at the top of the list is Wayne Gretzky, who won the NHL’s Hart Trophy nine times in 10 years, from 1980 to 1989. That’s how you earn the nickname, The Great One.

Absent from these lists is Babe Ruth, perhaps baseball’s biggest star. Ruth has only won the MVP award once – in 1923, when he hit .393 with 41 home runs and 130 RBIs.

From 1922-29, players were only allowed to win the prize once. So from 1926-29, when Ruth averaged nearly 52 home runs, he never won MVP again.

The rules were changed in the 1930s.

Whether Rodgers, the former Cal star, has the chance to chase his fifth MVP will depend in part on whether he returns to Green Bay next season, plays elsewhere or perhaps retires.

In any case, he joined an exclusive company in the history of American sports.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Here are the ones with at least four MVPs:

9. Wayne Gretzky (NHL): 1980, ’81, ’82, ’83, ’84, ’85, ’86, ’87, ’89

seven. Barry Bonds (MLB): 1990, ’92, ’93, 2001, ’02, ’03, ’04

6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (NBA): 1971, ’72, ’74, ’76, ’77, ’80

6. Gordie Howe (NHL): 1952, ’53, ’57, ’58, ’60, ’63

5. Bill Russell (NBA): 1958, ’61, ’62, ’63, ’65

5. Michael Jordan (NBA): 1988, ’91, ’92, ’96, ’98

5. Peyton Manning (NFL): 2003, ’04, 08, ’09, ’13

4. Aaron Rodgers (NFL): 2011, ’14, ’20, ’21

4. Wilt Chamberlain (NBA): 1960, ’66, ’67, ’68

4. LeBron James (NBA): 2009, ’10, ’12, ’13

4. Eddie Shore (NHL): 1933, ’35, ’36, ’38

Here are the triple winners:

MLB: Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio and Jimmy Foxx

NFL: Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas, Brett Favre and Tom Brady

NBA: Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson

NHL: Howie Morenz, Bobby Orr, Bobby Clarke, Mario Lemieux and Alexander Ovechkin

USA Today sports cover photo of Wayne Gretzky

FFollow Cal Sports Report’s Jeff Faraudo on Twitter: @jefffaraudo

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