Berkman finishes third in MVP voting
Astros first baseman trailed only Howard, Pujols
HOUSTON -- In any other year, Lance Berkman might have walked away with his first National League Most Valuable Player Award, but Berkman's sensational season was only good enough to put the Houston first baseman into third place in the 2006 NL MVP Award balloting announced Monday.
Philadelphia's Ryan Howard garnered 20 first-place votes and 388 votes to beat out Albert Pujols of St. Louis in the balloting while Berkman finished with 230 points on 21 third-place votes, four fourth-place votes, three fifths, two sixths, one seventh and one ninth.
Former Astro Carlos Beltran came in fourth with 211 points. Berkman, Pujols, Howard and Beltran were the only players named on all 32 ballots.
Berkman, who set career highs with 45 home runs and 136 RBIs while hitting .315 with a .420 on-base percentage, received the most points by an Astro in the balloting since Jeff Bagwell finished second to Atlanta's Chipper Jones in 1999 with 276 points.
In the last six years Berkman has finished in the top seven in the NL MVP voting four times, a feat surpassed by only Pujols (six times) and San Francisco's Barry Bonds (five).
It was the second third-place showing for Berkman, who also finished third in the balloting following the 2002 season. Berkman came in 14th last year with just 21 points while teammate Morgan Ensberg finished a team-high fourth, trailing only Pujols, Andruw Jones and Derrek Lee of the Cubs.
Berkman came in seventh with 100 points in 2004, third with 181 points in 2002 and fifth with 125 points in 2001.
Berkman made the All-Star team for the fourth time during the 2006 season and finished in the top 10 in the league in batting, on-base percentage, slugging, OPS, total bases, home runs, RBIs and walks.
The Astros have had only one MVP winner in franchise history, Bagwell in 1994.
|Voting results ¬|
|Ryan Howard, PHI||20||12||388|
|Albert Pujols, STL||12||19||1||347|
|Lance Berkman, HOU||21||4||3||2||1||1||230|
|Carlos Beltran, NYM||1||5||15||6||2||2||1||211|
|Miguel Cabrera, FLA||2||6||10||5||5||1||2||170|
|Alfonso Soriano, WAS||1||2||4||6||1||7||2||1||106|
|Jose Reyes, NYM||1||1||5||5||3||4||1||2||98|
|Chase Utley, PHI||1||6||7||10||1||1||98|
|David Wright, NYM||1||1||2||2||5||2||3||1||70|
|Trevor Hoffman, SD||2||1||1||1||2||2||7||46|
|Andruw Jones, ATL||1||2||1||5||3||29|
|Carlos Delgado, NYM||1||1||1||2||4||23|
|Nomar Garciaparra, LAD||2||3||4||18|
|Rafael Furcal, LAD||1||3||1||11|
|Garrett Atkins, COL||1||1||2||10|
|Matt Holliday, COL||1||2||3||10|
|Aramis Ramirez, CHC||1||1||5|
|Freddy Sanchez, PIT||2||1||5|
|Chris Carpenter, STL||1||4|
|Chipper Jones, ATL||1||3|
|Mike Cameron, SD||1||2|
|Jimmy Rollins, PHI||1||2|
|Bronson Arroyo, CIN||1||1|
|Jason Bay, PIT||1||1|
|Past winners Complete awards coverage|
Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.