Christian Yelich made it to the World Series, just not in the manner he had hoped.
The Milwaukee Brewers slugger accepted the Hank Aaron Award prior to Game 3 between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. Boston’s J.D. Martinez was the American League recipient of the award.
Yelich and the Brewers were one game shy of getting to their first World Series since 1982 as they lost to the Dodgers in seven games in the National League Championship Series. Yelich said that he isn’t over the disappointment yet, but that he has tried to move on.
“To be that close is definitely disappointing, but like I said earlier, use that as motivation throughout the offseason and into next season,” Yelich said. “It was a great learning experience for us as a team and I think it’s going to help us going forward.”
Yelich and Martinez won the award despite being in their first seasons with their respective clubs. Yelich, who was acquired in a trade from the Miami Marlins, led the NL with a .326 batting average, was second in RBIs with 110 and third in home runs with 36.
Martinez, who signed with the Red Sox as a free agent, led the AL in RBIs (130) and finished second in home runs (43) and batting average (.330).
“My goal going in was to be the player that they traded for, nothing more, nothing less, and just contribute to what they already had going there,” Yelich said. “It was an unbelievable year, it was a lot of fun.”
With Martinez’s win, it is the third consecutive season that a player on a World Series team has taken home the award, joining Jose Altuve and Kris Bryant.
The award, which is in its 20th year, is presented to the top hitters in each league as determined by a panel of several Hall of Famers and fan voting.