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 ballplayer, it is curious that the respect he got in terms of post-season awards did not translate into a larger Hall of Fame vote.