Candidates for Aaron Award announced
McGehee joins repeat nominees Braun and Fielder
PITTSBURGH -- Middle of the order threats Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder and upstart newcomer Casey McGehee are the Brewers nominees for this year's Hank Aaron Award.
The Hank Aaron Award, presented by Sharp, goes annually to the best overall offensive performer in each league, with each club having three nominees. This is the seventh consecutive year that fans have had a voice in selecting the award winners.
Fans can vote through Sept. 15 to determine the club nominee, and then voting will be held Sept. 16-30 to select the winner in each league. The winners will be announced during the World Series.
Last year's winners were Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis and Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Originally introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, the Hank Aaron Award was the first major award to be introduced in 30 years.
Fielder was honored as the NL's winner in 2007 and was presented the award by Aaron himself before a World Series game. The slugging Brewers first baseman has a great chance to win again in '09, when he has already become the first player in club history to post three consecutive seasons with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs.
Fielder has been jockeying with the Cardinals' Albert Pujols for the Major League RBI lead for much of the year, and is bidding to be the first Brewer to lead the league in that category since Cecil Cooper tied Jim Rice for the American League RBI crown in 1983. Fielder is also on track to bat .300 for the first time since he hit .312 at Class A Beloit in 2003.
Braun has scored a fair share of Fielder's RBIs, but has driven in his share, too. He's the first player in Brewers history to belt at least 20 homers in each of his first three Major League seasons and earlier this summer joined Robin Yount as the only Brewers to start consecutive All-Star Games. Braun was the leading vote-getter among NL outfielders and the sixth-leading vote-getter overall in All-Star balloting.
McGehee, meanwhile, is a new name for the list. Cast off by the Cubs last fall, the Brewers added McGehee via waivers and he won a job in Spring Training. McGehee hit his first Major League home run on June 14 and then rattled off seven in a 35-game span that included a go-ahead grand slam to beat the Mets on June 29. He notched a career-high with five RBIs in a win over his old team on July 4 at Wrigley Field.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.