PITTSBURGH, NOV. 19 -- Barry Bonds can tell his kids what his father could never tell him: that he was the National League's most valuable player.

Like teammate Doug Drabek, who won the Cy Young Award last week, Bonds was one vote shy of unanimous selection today, outpolling Pittsburgh Pirates teammate Bobby Bonilla.

Bonds completed a near sweep of top NL awards by the Pirates, receiving 23 of 24 first-place votes and 331 of a possible 336 points in voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Two writers in each NL city voted.

Bonilla, who teamed with Bonds to lead the Pirates to their first NL East title in 11 years, had the other first-place vote and 212 points. Darryl Strawberry, the New York Mets' slugger who recently signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was third with 167 points.

"I wish I could split it and give half to Bobby," said Bonds, 26. "I wish I could share it. To me, he's just as much the MVP as I am."

In addition to Bonds and Drabek winning awards for the Pirates, Jim Leyland was voted manager of the year. The only NL award the team didn't win was rookie of the year, which went to Atlanta's Dave Justice.

Bonds has been compared to his father, Bobby Bonds, since he pulled on his first uniform, but this wasn't a case of like father, like son. Bobby Bonds, the former San Francisco Giants' sidekick of Barry's godfather, Willie Mays, never won the MVP despite a record five seasons with 30 homers and 30 stolen bases.

"I decided this year was time for me to get the respect I deserved for myself," Bonds said. "I had to achieve it myself. My father and Warren Sipe {the Pirates' conditioning specialist} had me believing I could do anything, that I was invincible."

Motivated by his father and angered by losing his salary arbitration case last winter, Barry Bonds became the first player to bat .300, hit 30 homers, drive in 100 runs and steal 50 bases. His final numbers: .301, 33 homers, 114 RBI and 53 stolen bases.

"I think I had an MVP season. This was just an unreal year," he said. "I don't know if I can ever do this again, but I can tell my kids and grandkids that, for six months, I was up there with the best of them."

The statistics were as reminiscent of another No. 24, Mays, as they were Bonds's father. His previous career highs were .283, 25 homers, 59 RBI and 36 steals.

Added Bonds: "It's a family-oriented team. No one has any jealousy. I just hope we can stay together."