On Tuesday, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols was announced as the winner of the 2009 National League Most Valuable Player Award in a unanimous selection by all 32 voting sportswriters. It was the 29-year-old’s third in just nine seasons in the major leagues. Pujols tied the great Stan Musial with his third MVP Award.
Pujols completed the 2009 season as the National League’s triple crown winner for the decade, leading in batting average (.334), home runs (366) and RBI (1,112) despite playing in just the final nine seasons.
In 2009, Pujols hit a career-high 47 home runs, becoming just the second Cardinal (Mark McGwire, 1998-99) since 1940 (Johnny Mize) to lead Major League Baseball. Albert also led the majors in runs (124), on-base percentage (.443) and slugging (.658). He finished second among NL leaders in doubles (45) and third in batting average. His .327 average led the Cardinals for a ninth consecutive season, something no other player has ever done.
In the clutch, Pujols batted .588 (10-for-17) with the bases loaded, and in the process set Cardinals single-season (five) and career (11) records for grand slams.
Especially prior to the arrival of Matt Holliday, Pujols was pitched around often. Albert collected a team single-season record (44) intentional walks, surpassing his record 34 from last season. This also set the MLB record for right-handed hitters.
On the bases, Pujols led the Cardinals club and all MLB first basemen with 16 stolen bases. He became just the second player in MLB history to have 100 RBI in each of first nine seasons, joining Hall of Famer Al Simmons (11).
Defensively, Pujols continued to stand out, setting the MLB record with 185 assists as first baseman. He secured it on the final day of the season, surpassing Boston’s Bill Buckner (184 in 1985).
For Scout.com/The Cardinal Nation subscribers: In the Tuesday afternoon press conference at Busch Stadium, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak opens and turns the microphone over to Hall of Fame sportswriter Rick Hummel who announces Pujols. Albert makes some initial remarks before handling media questions.
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