In a year where the MVP races in both leagues were crowded with several big-name superstars, two relatively surprising winners were named. Yesterday, it was Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers winning the American League honors, just days after running away with the AL Cy Young Award. And today, the fan favorite affectionately known as "The Hebrew Hammer" has finally gained proper recognition on a national level.

The Baseball Writers Association of America has announced that the final award of the 2011 MLB season, the National League MVP, goes to Milwaukee Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun. The 28-year-old rising star received 20 out of a possible 32 first-place votes, and received second-place votes on each of the remaining 12 ballots.

Braun led the league in slugging, OPS (on-base plus slugging) and extra-base hits. He also ranked in the top 10 amoung National League hitters for batting average (.332), runs (109), RBI (111), home runs (33) and stolen bases (33).

Braun was also one of the best clutch hitters this season, hitting .351 with runners in scoring position. Braun's achievement marked the fourth time a Brewers player won the MVP Award, the first since joining the National League.

Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who flirted with the Triple Crown all season, received 10 first-place votes and finished second place in the voting. Rounding out the Top 5 in voting were Brewers first baseman and Braun's teammate Prince Fielder, Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton and Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols.