On this day in 1986, Philadelphia Phillies great and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt wins the third and final National League MVP Award of his career. The third baseman hit .290, 37 home runs, and 119 RBI.
Schmidt joined Roy Campanella and Stan Musial in becoming only the third player in National League history to win the MVP three times. Bryce Harper will now attempt to join Schmidt as the second Phillie in franchise history to secure multiple MVP Awards.
On this day in 1979, Phillies legend Ryan Howard was born. Howard was drafted by Philadelphia in the fifth round of the 2001 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Missouri State University. He made his MLB debut on Sept. 1, 2004 at 24-years-old.
The following season, Howard won the NL Rookie of the Year Award, and in 2006, won the NL MVP Award. He was also named to his first All-Star Game, won the Homerun Derby, and the Silver Slugger Award. Famously, Howard slugged 58 homers and drove in 149, which led the majors in '06.
In 2008, the same year the Phillies won the World Series, Howard finished second in MVP voting after another fantastic season. The Big Piece once again led the majors with 48 dingers and 141 RBI. 2009 and 2010 continued to be successful years for Howard, being named to consecutive All-Star Games, and the '09 NLCS MVP.
Ryan Howard was truly a spectacle to behold during his prime, and his iconic batting stance, and exciting upper-deck home runs at Citizens Bank Park followed by a bat drop will always be special. Thankfully, the Phillies took advantage of the player's prime by securing a championship during those years. Let's hope they can do the same with Harper.
Happy 42nd birthday, Big Piece!
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