CINCINNATI -- For Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, this was not just another little statue to stash on the mantle.
On Monday, Braun was named the National League's Player of the Month for July after batting .366 for the month with nine home runs, 23 RBIs and a .752 slugging percentage.
"It's a huge honor," Braun said before beginning a three-game series against the Reds. "The way I look at it, you're the MVP of the National League for that month. It's definitely a big accomplishment.
"July was a big month for us, and obviously August and September are going to be equally important. It's a good way for me to start the second half."
Something about July brings out Braun's best. He also won NL Player of the Month honors last July, when he hit .345 with 11 home runs and 25 RBIs.
This time, Braun had company. Newly-acquired left-hander CC Sabathia was named the NL Pitcher of the Month for July, and he and Braun became the first teammates honored with player and pitcher awards since the Mets' Jose Reyes and John Maine won in April 2007.
Braun, who started in left field for the NL All-Stars on July 15, beat a bevy of other hitters for the honor including teammate J.J. Hardy, who hit .339 in July with nine home runs and 21 RBIs. According to the league, others receiving votes included the Mets' Carlos Delgado (.357 average, nine home runs, 24 RBIs), the Reds' Adam Dunn (.310, 12 home runs, 26 RBIs), the Rockies' Matt Holliday (.370, eight home runs, 24 RBIs), the Phillies' Ryan Howard (.311, 10 home runs, 27 RBIs), the Pirates' Adam LaRoche (.390, seven home runs, 18 RBIs) the Cardinals' Albert Pujols (.347, four home runs, 20 RBIs) and the Astros' Carlos Lee (.371, six home runs, 25 RBIs).
The NL Player of the Month award is presented by Sharp, so Braun gets a 52-inch high-definition television to go with a specially-designed trophy to mark the achievement. The television he won last year now graces his parents' living room in Los Angeles.
"I'm going to have this one sent to their house, too," Braun said. "Hopefully I'll buy a house this offseason so I'll have a place for it."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.