Major League Baseball announced today that Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton has been named the American League Player of the Month for May. Voting for the award is done by the league writers and broadcasters.
Hamilton also won the American League monthly award in April, duplicating a feat he also accomplished in 2008. In the 39 years since the American and National Leagues began these monthly awards in 1974, this is just the sixth instance for a player to take the honors in both April and May of a season. Hamilton owns two of the six instances, the only player to do it twice. The only other player to do it in the American League was Toronto’s Jose Bautista in 2011. Players to do it in the National League were Eric Davis (Cincinnati, 1987), Bobby Bonilla (Pittsburgh, 1988), and Mark McGwire (St. Louis, 1998).
In May, Hamilton led the majors in RBI?(32) and slugging (.781), tied for the major league lead in home runs (A.L.-best 12), and ranked among A.L. leaders in extra-base hits (T1st, 18), total bases (1st, 75), and batting average (5th, .344). He went 5-for-5 with a double, 4 home runs, 8 RBI, 18 total bases and 4 runs scored on May 8 at Baltimore. He tied major league records for home runs and extra-base hits in a game and set the American League record for total bases, falling one shy of club records for hits and RBI. He became the third player in major league history with 6-or-more home runs and 15-or-more RBI in 6-game span, May 7-12 (6 HR/15 RBI), joining Frank Howard (May 12-18, 1968) and Shawn Green (May 21-26, 2002) as the only players to accomplish that feat.
Hamilton’s May marked just the 3rd time in team history for a player to have 12-or-more home runs and 32-or-more?RBI in a calendar month. Other Rangers to do it were Juan Gonzalez (15 HR/38 RBI in July 1996) and Rafael Palmeiro (15 HR/39 RBI in August 1999). Hamilton was the first player to reach those minimums in a calendar month since Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce in May 2011 (12 HR/33 RBI), the first to do it in the American League since New York-AL’s Mark Teixeira in August 1999 (15 HR/39 RBI).
This marks the fifth time that Hamilton has won the A.L.’s monthly award as he was also honored in both April and May 2008, June 2010, and April 2012. It extends his record for the most monthly awards in club history as Rafael Palmeiro and Alex Rodriguez were both honored three times each as Rangers. This is also the third consecutive month that a Ranger has captured A.L. Monthly honors with Adrian Beltre being selected in September 2011.