Matt Kemp needs to clear more space on his mantel. The Dodgers center fielder is the winner of the 2011 National League Hank Aaron Award. Kemp is the first Dodger to win the award.
The award has been given annually to the top offensive performer in each league since 1999, and is voted upon by members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame as well as fans. The panel of Hall of Famers this year included Aaron, Roberto Alomar, Joe Morgan, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams and Robin Yount.
Kemp, who last week was named the Major League Player of the Year by Baseball America, had a season for the ages in 2011. He led the National League with 39 home runs, 126 RBI, and 115 runs scored, the only Dodger ever to lead the league in all three categories in the same season. Kemp also led the NL with 353 total bases and a 171 OPS+, and hit .326/.399/.586.
Kemp also stole 40 bases, coming within an eyelash of becoming the fifth member of the 40/40 club. Kemp was tied for second in the league in steals, making him the first major leaguer to finish in the top two in both home runs and stolen bases since Aaron himself had 44 home runs and 31 steals in 1963 for the Milwaukee Braves.
Kemp has also been an iron man, not missing a game in the past two years. He has the longest active streak of consecutive games played in MLB, at 365.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America will announce the National League MVP on November 22.