Mookie Betts and Christian Yelich walked away with the AL and NL Most Valuable Player awards on Thursday, far outpacing their closest rivals in voting for the honor.

Both Betts and Yelich earned the award for the first time after leading their teams to deep playoff runs – and, in Betts’ case, to a World Series championship.

Betts Powers Red Sox Championship

Betts, who plays outfield for the Boston Red Sox, received 28 of the 30 first place votes from the panel of baseball writers tasked with making the selection. It was the first time a Red Sox player has won the award since Dustin Pedroia did so in 2008.

“It means a lot,” Betts said, according to “It’s definitely a special award and something that I cherish, but I think the most important thing is that we won a World Series and got to bring a trophy back to Boston.”

Betts led the league with a .346 batting average and 129 runs scored, while also posting a league-best .640 slugging percentage. He was also noted for his outstanding defense, winning a Gold Glove Award for the third consecutive season.

While the voting wasn’t particularly close, Betts did have to beat out a long list of worthy contenders for the MVP award. Two-time winner Mike Trout was in the running, ultimately finishing a distant second in the voting. It was the fourth time Trout has finished second in MVP balloting, and the seventh consecutive year in which he has finished in the top five for the AL MVP.

Also in contention was Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians, who finished third in the voting for the second straight year. A late slump likely eliminating Ramirez from contention, though his stellar season still saw him hit .270 with 39 home runs while stealing 34 bases.

Yelich Nearly Wins Triple Crown

The National League MVP Award went to Milwaukee Brewers standout Christian Yelich, who picked up 29 of the 30 first place votes. The outfielder was widely expected to win the honor after a strong season that only got better down the stretch, as he carried the Brewers to the NLCS.

Yelich, who was traded from the Miami Marlins to Milwaukee in January, nearly won the first NL Triple Crown since Joe Medwick did so in 1937. Yelich led the league with a .326 batting average, but his 36 home runs were two short of the lead, and his 110 RBIs were one behind Javier Baez.

“It’s unbelievable,” Yelich said after the announcement. “It’s really hard to put into words right now. You never dream of winning an award like this.”

Baez finished as the distant runner up, with Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado landing in third place. Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom picked up the only first place vote that didn’t go to Yelich, but finished fifth overall in the voting.