Phillies' Howard selected NL most valuable

Nov. 20, 2006 at 3:36 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard, last year's rookie of the year, has been voted the National League's most valuable player.

Howard was listed first on 20 of the 32 ballots and second on the other 12. St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols, last year's MVP, was second. Houston's Lance Berkman was third.

Howard, who turned 26 on Sunday, is the first player to win rookie of the year and the MVP award in consecutive seasons since Cal Ripken Jr. in 1982-83. The Phillies first baseman hit .313 with 58 homes runs and 149 runs batted in in 2006.

The award is decided on a vote of 32 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America who cover the National League.

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