Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun has been announced the NL Most Valuable Player, after a season that saw him lead the Brewers to their first division title in almost three decades.
The left fielder notched up 20 of 32 first-place votes, and a lofty 388 points in the vote by members of The Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He was pushed hard all the way, however: Los Angeles center fielder Matt Kemp received 10 first-place votes and finished second with 332 points.
Speaking from his Malibu home, Braun said:
“I’m not going to pretend like I wasn’t anxious or nervous because I was. I was obviously thrilled, excited. It’s honestly difficult to put into words how much this means to me.”
Meanwhile, Braun’s fellow Brewer Prince Fielder grabbed third spot with one first-place vote and 229 points, and Arizona’s Justin Upton (one first-place vote, 214 points) finished fourth. St. Louis’ Albert Pujols finished fifth, the 11th straight year the three-time MVP has appeared in the top 10.
Clayton Kershaw clinched the NL Cy Young Award, a fitting end to a season in which he also won the NL pitching Triple Crown.
Braun’s victory comes a day after Detroit’s Justin Verlander added the AL MVP to his Cy Young. And Braun was full of praise for Verlander:
“I think he was the single most dominant player in baseball this year. As a position player I’m biased to the fact that I think position players should be at the forefront of the award but if you honestly look at what he accomplished, how much he meant to that team and how dominant he truly was you cannot make any argument against him winning that award.”