(1983 - )
Ryan Braun (born November 17, 1983) is a left fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team of the National league in Major League Baseball.
Braun was born to a Jewish-Israeli father and a Christian American mother in California and eventually attended the University of Miami under a baseball scholarship. He was named "National Freshman of the Year" and first team "Freshman All-American" by Baseball America in 2003 and was later drafted as a third baseman in the fifth overall spot by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2005 Amateur Baseball Draft.
From 2005-2006, Braun played for the Helena Brewers, West Virginia Power, Brevard County Manatees, Huntsville Stars, Scottsdale Scorpions, and Nashville Sounds, all of which are minor league teams.
In 2007, Braun played 113 games and led the National League with a .634 SLG, in the process setting an all-time Major League rookie slugging percentage record, breaking the one set by Mark McGwire in 1987. Braun also broke the Brewers team rookie records in home runs (34) and runs batted in (92) that had previously been set by Prince Fielder in 2006. In recognition of his accomplishments Braun was awarded the National League Rookie of the Year award by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Braun has been selected to the Major League Baseball Mid-Summer Classic (All-Star Game) four times, all as an outfielder: 2008, 2009, 2010 and in 2011.
On November 22, 2011, Braun was selected as the National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) after hitting a career high .332 with 33 home runs, 111 RBI and 33 stolen bases. Braun becomes the first Brewers player to win the award since Robin Yount did so in 1989.
Braun became the first Jewish baseball player to win an MVP award in nearly five decades since Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers took home the coveted harware in 1963. Other Jewish players to win an MVP award include Detroit Tigers slugger Hank Greenberg (1940) the Cleveland Indians' Al Rosen (1953).
Braun has been likened to Jewish slugger Hank Greenberg and even been given the nickname "the Hebrew Hammer." In 2007, he told the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, "being Jewish is something I take great pride in."