Jewish slugger Ryan Braun was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player today, becoming the first Milwaukee Brewer to win the honor since Robin Yount in 1989 (when the Brew Crew were in the American League) and the first Jew since Sandy Koufax in 1963 (the Dodger great won three Cy Young Awards but only one MVP—the short list of pitchers who have accomplished both gained a new member this year, as Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander took home both in the AL). The other Jewish MVPs include Al Rosen (1953), Lou Boudreau (1948), Hank Greenberg (1935, 1940), and … that’s it. So, yeah, historic.
Historic, and deserved: Thanks to a lineup bolstered by Braun and Prince Fielder (who finished third in MVP voting), the Brewers won the NL Central and made it to the championship series. Highlights of Braun’s campaign include a league-leading .994 OPS, a .332 batting average (second), 33 home runs (sixth), and 111 RBI (fourth) He was also a Gold Glove finalist at left field. Braun is only 28 and signed to Milwaukee through 2020. Greater things may yet be in store.
Related: Hammer Time [Tablet Magazine]
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.