Freddie Freeman wins 2020 Hank Aaron Award

Credit: AJC Sports

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Here's a quick look at some key stats for Braves star Freddie Freeman during the 2020 season.

Credit: AJC Sports

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman won the 2020 Hank Aaron Award for the National League, MLB announced Tuesday.

The Hank Aaron Award is given annually to the best hitter in each league. It was created in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Aaron, a Braves icon, breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home-run record. The award is determined by the fan vote and a panel of MLB Hall of Famers, including Aaron, according to MLB.

“Winning the Hank Aaron Award is extra special for me since I get to put on the same uniform that he wore throughout his illustrious career,” Freeman said on Twitter. “An incredible baseball player and an even better man. I am honored and humbled to win this award. Thank you!”

Freeman was one of seven NL finalists. He was joined by Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Corey Seager, Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Dominic Smith.

In the best season of his career, Freeman hit .341/.462/.640 with 13 homers, 53 RBIs and 51 runs scored while playing in all 60 games. He led the majors in runs and doubles (23). Freeman became the second player to finish among the top four major-league leaders in runs, hits, doubles, RBIs and walks (45), joining Lou Gehrig from the 1927 Yankees. Freeman anchored arguably the best offense in Braves history, helping the Braves to their third consecutive division title and first NL Championship Series appearance since 2001.

Freeman was named NL MVP last month. He was the sixth Braves player to win the MVP, joining an exclusive list that includes Aaron. On Tuesday, Freeman became the second Brave to win the Hank Aaron Award, joining Andruw Jones (2005).

“I’d like to congratulate Freddie Freeman and his handsome boy he has,” Aaron said to Freeman and his 4-year-old son Charlie during MLB Network’s presentation. “You have done some things in this game - in fact, I was talking to someone the other day, and they said, ‘Have you ever seen anybody play first base like he does?’ And I said, ‘No, I haven’t, and I played 23 years.’ Congratulations to you and may you have many, many, many more. I know last year was not a wholesome year, but it was a great year for you. I just want to say please, please, whatever you do, keep doing what you’re doing and may God bless you and your family.”

“Thank you, Mr. Aaron, very much,” Freeman replied. He later said of Aaron: “Just an amazing baseball player and an even better person. What he did while he was playing baseball, and putting up those numbers, the consistency is what we all try to be as a baseball player. And he did it for 23 years. He’s an incredible baseball player and incredible human. To have this award with me forever is absolutely incredible. ... It means so much more to win this award when you’re in the same organization as he played in. It’s even more special that he gets to come around and share his wisdom of the game with us. He’s been present a lot the last few years. That just makes this even more special. I can’t wait to see him in person again.”

White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu won the AL Hank Aaron Award. Freeman and Abreu each also won their league’s MVP and silver slugger. It’s the fourth time that both league MVPs won the Hank Aaron Award in the same season.