Thursday, November 3, 2011
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Atlanta Braves' Martin Prado, left, celebrates his game-winning RBI-single with Brian McCann, and Jason Heyward, right, at the end of the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during a baseball game on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, in Atlanta. Atlanta won 4-3. (AP Photo/John Amis )
The season didn't end the way Brian McCann and his Atlanta teammates had hoped. But the catcher's late slump at the plate didn't prevent the Duluth graduate from accomplishing something quite special.
McCann received the Silver Slugger Award as the best hitting catcher in the National League on Wednesday and in so doing became the first Braves player to win the honor five times.
It was the fourth straight season McCann, 27, took the award and he became just the sixth catcher to win at least five Silver Slugger honors. The others are Mike Piazza (10 times), Ivan Rodriguez (seven), Lance Parrish (six), Gary Carter (five) and Jorge Posada (five).
McCann, who has been picked for the All-Star Game in each of his six full seasons, received the Silver Slugger despite having a down year by his standards. He batted .270 with 20 homers and 71 RBIs and slumped the final six weeks after returning from an oblique strain.
The left-handed hitter batted just .180 in his last 37 games as the Braves saw their once large lead in the NL wild-card race slip away to St. Louis, the eventual World Series champion. But McCann still led the majors in homers and he was second with an .817 OPS.
Outfielder Dale Murphy and pitcher Tom Glavine won the Silver Slugger four times while playing for the Braves.