The Joe F. Carr Trophy was the first award given in the National Football League (NFL) to recognize a most valuable player for each season. It was first awarded in 1938, known then as the Gruen Trophy,[1] and renamed in 1939 in honor of NFL commissioner Joseph Carr.[2][3] The Gruen Trophy, sponsored by Gruen Watch Co., was first awarded in 1937 to Dutch Clark of the Detroit Lions. However, both contemporary[4][5] and modern[6] sources consider the 1938 award the first retroactive Joe F. Carr Trophy, and thus the first NFL MVP award. Players were chosen by a panel of sportswriters who distributed first and second place votes. It was awarded until the 1946 season, and it remains the only MVP award the NFL has officially sanctioned.[7]

Season Player Team Position Refs
1938 Hein, MelMel Hein New York Giants Center, linebacker [1]
1939 Hall, ParkerParker Hall Cleveland Rams Quarterback, halfback [3]
1940 Parker, AceAce Parker Brooklyn Dodgers Quarterback, halfback [8]
1941 Hutson, DonDon Hutson Green Bay Packers End [4]
1942 Hutson, DonDon Hutson Green Bay Packers End [9]
1943 Luckman, SidSid Luckman Chicago Bears Quarterback [10]
1944 Sinkwich, FrankFrank Sinkwich Detroit Lions Halfback [11]
1945 Waterfield, BobBob Waterfield Cleveland Rams Quarterback [5]
1946 Dudley, BillBill Dudley Pittsburgh Steelers Halfback [12]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Mel Hein Voted Most Valuable". The Spokesman-Review: p. 13. January 18, 1940.,3083579&hl=en. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  2. "Storck Named President". The Pittsburgh Press: p. 16. July 23, 1939. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Parker Hall Named Valuable Player". The Daily Times: p. 13. January 18, 1940.,7221038&hl=en. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Don Hutson Voted Most Valuable Pro". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press: p. 4. February 12, 1942.,6948119&hl=en. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Waterfield Named Most Valuable Gridiron Player". Prescott Evening Courier. Associated Press: p. 5. January 4, 1946.,129643&hl=en. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  6. "Joe F. Carr Trophy (MVP) Winners". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  7. Turney, John (February 21, 2015). "Dutch Clark's Missing 1937 MVP Award". Pro Football Journal. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  8. "Ace Parker, Brooklyn, Voted 'Most Valuable'". The Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press: p. 7. January 18, 1941.,905144&hl=en. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  9. "Don Hutson Named Most Valuable Pro". The Milwaukee Journal. United Press: p. 10. January 28, 1943.,4664786&hl=en. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  10. "Sid Luckman Gets Grid Trophy". Daytona Beach Morning Journal: p. 3. September 2, 1944.,3621614&hl=en. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  11. "Sinkwich Voted Most Valuable". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press: p. 15. April 3, 1945.,6053444&hl=en. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  12. "Bill Dudley Gets Trophy Sunday". The Pittsburgh Press. United Press: p. 40. October 9, 1947.,3398682&hl=en. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
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