MILWAUKEE -- For the second straight season, Ryan Braun will have some hardware to show for his efforts at the plate.
After batting .320 with 32 home runs and 114 RBIs, Braun became the first Brewer since Paul Molitor, more than two decades ago, to win a Silver Slugger Award in consecutive years. Since 1980, the awards have been given annually to the best offensive player at each position as selected by the Major League Baseball managers and coaches.
The other National League Silver Sluggers were Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez and Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano.
Braun is the third Brewers player to take home the award in consecutive seasons. Molitor was the American League's top designated hitter in 1987 and 1988, and Cecil Cooper won the award as a first baseman in three straight seasons from 1980-82.
NL SILVER SLUGGER AWARDS
Albert Pujols, Cards
Chase Utley, Phillies
R. Zimmerman, Nats
H. Ramirez, Marlins
Ryan Braun, Brewers
Andre Ethier, Dodgers
Matt Kemp, Dodgers
Brian McCann, Braves
C. Zambrano, Cubs
The specially designed Silver Slugger will be presented to each player by a representative of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co., makers of Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, in a ceremony early in the 2010 season. The trophy is three feet tall and bears the engraved name of the winner and his Silver Slugger teammates in his respective league.
Brewers Silver Sluggers
Before 2005, the Brewers had been shut out in Silver Slugger balloting since 1990, but now they have a winner in four of the past five seasons. Prince Fielder, who was edged at first base for the second straight year by Pujols, won in 2007. Then-Brewers outfielder Carlos Lee was a Silver Slugger in 2005.
Braun's numbers were certainly deserving in 2009. With 203 hits, he became the third Brewer ever to lead his league in that category and the first since Molitor led the AL in 1991. Braun also became the eighth player in Major League history with at least 100 runs, 100 RBIs, 200 hits, 30 homers, 20 stolen bases and a .300 average in the same season.
The numbers keep on coming. Braun has 103 home runs in his first three Major League seasons, sixth-most in baseball history behind two active players -- Pujols (114) and the Yankees' Mark Texeira (107) -- and three Hall of Famers -- Ralph Kiner (114), Eddie Matthews (112), Joe DiMaggio (107).
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.