Ryan Howard capped his first full season in the majors with his first MVP Award. The voting saw Howard win the award by a fairly easy margin over Albert Pujols of the Cardinals.

If you think it's been a long time since the Phillies won a World Series, it's been even longer since they had a Most Valuable Player. In fact, it's been 20 full years since Mike Schmidt won the league's MVP honors; That is until Ryan Howard came to town.

Howard not only beat Schmidt's single-season homerun mark, but put up numbers bigger than anybody could have ever expected. With 58 homeruns and 149 RBI, Howard won the MVP balloting by a 388 to 347 margin over Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals.

This season saw Howard win the Homerun Derby in his first All-Star Game appearance and nearly push the Phillies into a post-season spot. Howard ranked winning the honor as the biggest moment of his career, but said there's another item that would eclipse the MVP. "I want to win a championship," said Howard. "We've got to see what we can do about that, because that would be the ultimate and I hope that's next."

The big Phillies first baseman has become a celebrity in Philadelphia because of his respect for the fans. He's well known for being approachable and spending time among fans. "I love the fans in Philadelphia. I can imagine that they're going crazy over this [the MVP Award]."

Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories