Ryan Braun baseball - AP file 22.11.11
Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun (8) celebrates after hitting a two-run home run during a National League game, Oct. 2, 2011. Photo by AP
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Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun, Aug. 15, 2011. Photo by AP

Ryan Braun, the slugging outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers, was named the National League Most Valuable Player, making him the first Jewish ballplayer to win the award in nearly five decades.

Braun, the son of an Israeli-born Jewish father and a Catholic mother, received 20 of 32 first-place votes and 388 points in voting announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Los Angeles center fielder Matt Kemp was second with 10 first-place votes and 332 points.

Braun plays on the Sabbath, but his Jewish identity runs deep. His father’s family was nearly destroyed in the Holocaust, and Braun has said that he is “proud to be a role model for young Jewish kids.”

Read more at the Forward