The Most Valuable Player award was introduced April 4, 1911, sponsored by automobile manufacturer Hugh Chalmers. The first winners of the MVP award would be Ty Cobb of the Tigers and Frank “Wildfire” Schulte of the Cubs.
On March 25, 1910, Hugh Chalmers, president of Chalmers Motor Car Company in Detroit, announced that one of the company’s Model 30 automobiles would be awarded to the ballplayer with the highest batting average for the season. On the last day of the season, however, Cleveland’s Nap Lajoie put down seven bunts, going 8-for-9 in a double header against a Browns infield that was intentionally playing deep. The performance raised Lajoie’s average to .384, and Ty Cobb, who was also in the running for the batting title, complained about the circumstances to American League President Ban Johnson. In the end, Chalmers awarded cars to both Lajoie and Cobb, and the true winner of the 1910 AL batting title remains disputed.