Bill Freehan gained a lot of respect among those in the Major Leagues. He may not have been a huge force with his bat (though he did have a few respectable seasons), but he was among the best in handling a pitching staff and the defensive roles of a professional catcher. It was primarily through these attributes that Freehan gained as much MVP support as he did as he was a serious contender in two seasons. Freehan may not have won the MVP, but he did win the Gold Glove five times and was an All Star eleven times.
Bill Freehan never was a regular in any top ten offensive categories, but few catchers were when he played. He did more than most at that position and as such a great overall ball player, it is curious that the respect he got in terms of post season awards did not translate into a larger Hall of Fame vote.