Add another notch to reasons why we love Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun. Last night the All-Star slugger swiped his 30th bag of the season in the middle of a 7-6 loss to the Houston Astros – the only silver lining in the game – and became just the ninth player in Major League Baseball history to record a 40 home run, 30 steal season.
He just the second person to do it this century, the first being Alfonso Soriano during his stint with the Washington Nationals in 2006.
Ryan Braun is the first Brewer to ever accomplish the feat, and the only Milwaukee player in history to make multiple appearances on the 30-30 club. He is also the first player in the Major Leagues to accomplish the feat consecutively since Soriano did it in 2005 and 2006.
The Brewers may be struggling, but Ryan Braun is doing everything he can – literally – to try and leave that last glimmer of hope alive as the Brewers sit five games back with five to play.
Braun has career-high numbers in home runs with 41 this season, and is slowly creeping in on his career-high RBI of 114. He sits with 112 now, and is also inching ever closer to the rest of his stats with league leading Slugging percentage of .602 and an OPS of .993.
In 878 games, Ryan Braun has managed to become one of the greatest players in Milwaukee history – leading the team all-time Slugging Percentage and OPS, and appearing on nearly every batting top-ten list Milwaukee can offer. In the rest of his career, there isn’t a record on the books in Milwaukee that Braun couldn’t realistically shatter.
It’s been a strange season for Braun on the Public Relations front, but the slugger has been able to take it in stride and turn up his performance to an historic degree in spite of what seemed to be lingering public opinion wishing he would fail. His achievement last night – and throughout the season – is one of the best baseball has ever seen, and fans from all around the Major Leagues should take a moment to tip their caps to Ryan Braun.
It’s not every season that you get to see a player perform the way Ryan Braun has. Unless you’re a Brewers fans, of course. Congratulations Ryan Braun, we look forward to seeing what else you have in store for us.