Ryan Braun became baseball’s first Jewish Rookie of the Year.
Braun, the slugging third baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers, picked up the award Monday in the National League. In the voting by the Baseball Writers of America, Braun edged Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, 128-126.
Called up from the minor leagues in May, Braun batted .324 with 34 home runs and 97 runs batted in while leading the league with a slugging percentage of .634.
Braun, who turns 24 on Saturday, is the son of an Israeli father and a Christian mother. Although he wasn’t raised Jewish, the California native spoke this spring of the pride he takes in his Jewish heritage.
Last week, another Jewish player earned distinction when first baseman Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox was selected by his peers as a Gold Glove winner for his defensive excellence. Youkilis did not make an error this season.