Already the winner of the Players Choice "Most Outstanding Player" Award for the National League and a finalist for the NL's Most Valuable Player Award that has eluded him several times before, Cardinals star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt picked up another prestigious individual honor on Wednesday night.
Goldschmidt, who made a serious run at the NL Triple Crown before cooling off over the final month of the regular season, was named the NL winner of the Hank Aaron Award by Major League Baseball. The accolade, which honors the most outstanding offensive performers in each league, was announced by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and Aaron's wife, Billye Aaron, on MLB Network.
Yankees superstar slugger Aaron Judge, who set a new American League record with 62 home runs, was named the Aaron Award winner in the AL.
Each MLB club nominated players to be considered for the Aaron Award. A panel of MLB.com writers determined eight finalists for each league. A fan vote is added to the votes of a panel of Hall of Fame players to determine the winners, which are officially sanctioned by MLB. The panel includes Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Eddie Murray and Robin Yount.
Goldschmidt, who led the Cardinals to 93 wins and a NL Central crown this past season, won the Aaron Award for the second time in his career, doing so previously in 2013 while with the D-backs. Earlier this week, Goldschmidt was named a finalist -- along with teammate Nolan Arenado and Padres star Manny Machado -- for the Baseball Writers' Association of America Most Valuable Player award for the NL. He has finished in the top six in voting for the NL MVP Award six times, placing second in 2013 and '15, third in '17 and sixth in '18 and '21 and in the top three this year.
Goldschmidt, the NL leader in OPS (.981) and slugging (.578), was named the NL's Player of the Month in May and he was named the NL's Player of the Week three times this past season. Goldschmidt also finished in the NL's top five in WAR (7.8, second), on-base percentage (.404, second), batting average (.317, third), home runs (35, fifth) and RBIs (115, second).
He was named an All-Star for the seventh time in his career and hit the Midsummer Classic's first home run at Dodger Stadium. Goldschmidt, who hit the 300th home run of his career in July, had one of the most dominant days of his career in Chicago on Aug. 25, when he had three hits, two home runs and five RBIs in the Cardinals' 8-3 win at Wrigley Field. The performance allowed him to move into the NL lead in batting average and RBIs and just one home run behind leader Kyle Schwarber. However, Goldschmidt's bid to become the first player to win the Triple Crown in the NL since Joe "Ducky" Medwick in 1937 ended when he cooled off over the final few weeks of the regular season.
In addition to being a finalist for the NL Gold Glove Award at first base this season, Goldschmidt was also the Cardinals' nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award that honors the work players do away from the baseball diamond to make a positive impact in the community.
"We don't take this opportunity lightly and this platform that we're given," Goldschmidt said earlier this season upon being named a Clemente Award honoree for the seventh time in his 12-year career. "You can make a big difference in a person's life with a small amount of time, or even just a smile or an autograph. It's cool to be in a position where literally two seconds of your time can make someone's day. I don't forget being that kid who was watching all my favorite big leaguers on TV and wanting to be just like them. Now, I try to do what I can to help."