WASHINGTON — Call Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman a two-time award winner. On Wednesday, he won his first Gold Glove Award. On Thursday, Zimmerman won the 2009 National League Silver Slugger Award.
Zimmerman is the second member of the Washington Nationals to earn a Silver Slugger. In 2006, Alfonso Soriano was awarded a Silver Slugger after hitting .277 with 41 doubles, 46 home runs, 95 RBIs and 41 stolen bases in his lone season with the Nationals.
“It’s nice to win awards. All of us in this game work very hard during the offseason and throughout the season,” Zimmerman said. “I take a lot of pride in what I do. It’s nice to get honored for it, especially when I know how hard it is to win these because of the good players that play here, not only in my position, but in this league. It’s a tough league to be good at.”
Silver Slugger winners, presented by Louisville Slugger, are voted upon by the managers and coaches of all Major League Baseball teams and recognize the top offensive producer at each position in both the American and National Leagues.
Zimmerman, who made his first All-Star appearance this past season, had one of the best seasons of his career, hitting .292 with 33 home runs and 106 RBIs. He also hit 37 doubles and scored 110 runs.
Zimmerman’s biggest 2009 highlight came early in the season, when he went on a 30-game hitting streak. He joined Rico Carty and George Sisler as the only players since 1900 to hit in 30 consecutive games that early in a season.
“In terms of recognition, the streak helped out a lot, as well as the All-Star Game,” Zimmerman said. “We are on a team that is rebuilding and it’s young, and it doesn’t get as much exposure like some other people. We have some talented guys that have done some great things and don’t get the recognition. Once we start winning more and start getting into the playoff races, all my teammates will be recognized as well.”