NEW YORK, NOV. 17 -- George Bell of the Toronto Blue Jays won the American League's most-valuable-player award today. He is the first Dominican and the first player on a Canadian team to win it.
He received 332 points in the voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Shortstop Alan Trammell of the Detroit Tigers was next with 311. Two association members in each of the 14 AL cities voted, giving Bell 16 first-place votes and Trammell 12.
Bell's base salary for 1987 was $1,285,000. His contract stipulates that he will get a $50,000 bonus for being MVP.
Outfielder Kirby Puckett of the Minnesota Twins was third with 201 points, followed by Dwight Evans of the Boston Red Sox and Paul Moiltor of the Milwaukee Brewers.
"I'm very happy," Bell said by telephone from Santo Domingo. "For the people of the Dominican it means a lot. These people have been asking me when the MVP would be announced. They thought it would be three or four days after the World Series. The local newspapers couldn't wait to find out."
His outstanding season was tarnished by a slump in the last weeks of the season, when the Blue Jays and Tigers were struggling to win the AL East. Bell got two hits in his last 26 at-bats, and the Tigers won the race.
"You had to look at the whole season," Bell said today. For the whole season, he hit .308 with 47 home runs. He scored 111 runs and led the AL with 134 RBI.