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Howard takes third in NL MVP voting

Howard takes third in NL MVP voting

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PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard continues to be recognized as one of the most feared hitters in baseball.

On Tuesday, Howard finished third in the National League's Most Valuable Player voting behind Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols and Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Pujols won unanimously with 32 first-place votes and 448 points. Ramirez received 15 second-place votes to finish with 233 points. Howard received six third-place votes to finish with 217 points.

Howard appeared on 31 of 32 ballots.

Howard hit .279 with 37 doubles, four triples, 45 home runs and a Major League-leading 141 RBIs this season. He also had a career-high eight stolen bases. He ranked first in baseball with 43 go-ahead RBIs, second with 86 in extra-base hits and game-winning RBIs (22), third in homers and total bases (352) and fifth in slugging percentage (.571).

He finished fifth in the NL in runs (105) and at-bats (616).

Howard became the fourth player in baseball history with four consecutive seasons with at least 40 home runs and 130 RBIs. Babe Ruth (seven consecutive seasons), Ken Griffey Jr. (four) and Sammy Sosa (four) are the others.

Howard is the fastest player in baseball history to reach 200 home runs (658 games). Ralph Kiner held the previous record, hitting 200 home runs in his first 706 games. He also became the first player to reach 500 RBIs in 575 or fewer games since Ted Williams reached 500 RBIs in 569 games in 1942.

Chase Utley finished eighth in NL MVP voting with 84 points. Jayson Werth finished 17th with 10 points and Shane Victorino finished 18th with eight points.

2009 National League MVP voting
Player 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Albert Pujols, STL 32 448
Hanley Ramirez, FLA 15 5 3 3 2 3 1 233
Ryan Howard, PHI 6 8 7 5 1 3 1 217
Prince Fielder, MIL 5 9 7 3 1 3 1 3 203
Troy Tulowitzki, COL 3 6 5 5 5 1 1 172
Andre Ethier, LAD 2 3 2 5 4 5 3 113
Pablo Sandoval, SF 1 2 5 5 6 1 4 89
Chase Utley, PHI 2 2 1 5 4 3 1 84
Derrek Lee, CHC 1 3 3 2 2 5 66
Matt Kemp, LAD 2 1 2 3 1 1 2 49
Ryan Braun, MIL 3 1 2 4 6 43
Adrian Gonzalez, SD 1 1 3 2 5 30
Todd Helton, COL 1 1 1 1 2 28
Chris Carpenter, STL 1 2 1 2 1 25
Adam Wainwright, STL 1 2 1 2 16
Matt Holliday, STL 1 1 2 15
Jayson Werth, PHI 1 1 10
Shane Victorino, PHI 2 8
Tim Lincecum, SF 1 1 2 8
Yunel Escobar, ATL 1 6
Mark Reynolds, ARI 1 1 1 6
Joey Votto, CIN 1 4
Yadier Molina, STL 1 3
Miguel Tejada, HOU 1 3
Huston Street, COL 1 2
Justin Upton, ARI 1 2
Ryan Zimmerman, WAS 2 2
Jeremy Affeldt, SF 1 1
Chris Coghlan, FLA 1 1
Brad Hawpe, COL 1 1

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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