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06/02/08 7:12 PM ET
Hamilton takes monthly honors for May
Rangers star is first AL player to win award for first two months
By Shawn Shroyer / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton has been named the "Sharp Presents the National League Player of the Month" for May. Having also won the award in April, Hamilton is the first AL player to ever win the award the first two months of a season. Hamilton batted .322 in May, hitting eight of his 15 home runs. He also had 29 RBIs while scoring 22 runs. His RBI total and 71 total bases in May led the AL. He tied for the league lead in home runs and was second in runs scored and extra-base hits. Hamilton's .617 slugging percentage and 37 hits were third in the league for May. "It's a good feeling. It's an even better feeling seeing where we came from," said Hamilton, referring to his team, which went 19-10 in the month of May. For the season, Hamilton leads the Majors with 63 RBIs, 13 more than the next-highest total, and he leads the AL with 15 home runs, 144 total bases, 34 extra-base hits, a .613 slugging percentage, 77 hits and 25 multi-hit games. He's just two percentage points behind Hideki Matsui for the league lead in batting with a .328 average. Monthly American and National League Player of the Month Awards have been handed out since 1974, and Hamilton becomes just the fourth Major Leaguer to win the award in April and May of the same season. National Leaguers Mark McGwire, Bobby Bonilla, and Eric Davis did the same in 1998, 1988 and 1987, respectively. "It's not really shocking," Michael Young said. "I think people are starting to get a grasp on how good Josh is." The last time a player took home two Player of the Month Awards in the same season was Alex Rodriguez in 2007, for his efforts in April and June. The last time a player won consecutive Player of the Month Awards was 2006, when Ryan Howard did so in August and September. Hamilton joins Rodriguez in another category, as Rodriguez was the last Ranger to win Player of the Month honors in consecutive months, doing so in August and September in 2002. In Texas franchise history, only Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro (three times each) have won the award more times than Hamilton. Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez and Ruben Sierra have also won the award twice while wearing a Rangers uniform.
Shawn Shroyer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.