Jose Altuve and Giancarlo Stanton are your 2017 Hank Aaron Award winners
Both winners were presented with their awards before Game 2 of the World Series
LOS ANGELES -- MLB commissioner Rob Manfred presented Jose Altuve of the Astros and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins with this season's Hank Aaron Award. Both were on hand -- Altuve in his uniform, obviously -- to accept their awards from Manfred and Aaron before Wednesday night's second game of the World Series.
The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 by Major League Baseball to honor the top hitter in each league. TV and radio broadcasters for each team get to vote for a top three and fans can take part on MLB.com as well, with 70 percent of the weight on the vote going to the broadcasters and 30 percent to the fans.
"I just want to say congratulations to you, Altuve, a wonderful year, not only for this year, but last year, also," Aaron said. "I mean, you have stood tall. You have done everything that not only anybody that ever played the game, but everybody that wants to play the game. It doesn't make any difference whether you're five feet tall or six feet tall, as long as you've got the warmth and the know-how and the drive to do it, and you have demonstrated that. But I want to congratulate you for all of the things that you have done, really. You have been wonderful, and not many people I would pay to go see, but I tell you, I would pay to go see him."
Stanton, 27, hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 homers, 132 RBI, 32 doubles and 123 runs scored. He led the majors in home runs and RBI while pacing the NL in slugging percentage. His second-half home run surge took the sport by storm and he was the hottest MLB story on an individual level for several weeks. He fell just shy of joining the very exclusive 60-homer club, but Stanton is certainly a worthy winner. He also won the award in 2014. He's the only Marlins player to ever win it.
"Stanton has won this award, this is his second time," Aaron said. "Like always, you make a habit of doing something, you can do it over and over and over again. Looking forward to having you here next year. But the most important thing is that -- let's talk about this young man, here, right now. And the reason I want to talk about him is because most people that I talk to said, Get a picture. Talk to him. See if he's for real. Is he for real? I know he's for real."
So is Altuve.
Altuve, 27, hit .346/.410/.547 with 204 hits, 39 doubles, four triples, 24 homers, 81 RBI and 112 runs scored. He only struck out 84 times. He led the majors in average and, for the fourth straight season, paced the AL in hits. Altuve might be adding an MVP to his list of hardware here in the next few weeks, but on this one, he's already beaten Yankees slugger Aaron Judge. Altuve is the first Astros player to win this award.
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