Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, who got his major-league career off to a strong start by winning the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award in 2005, was honored in 2006 by being elected the National League Most Valuable Player in balloting by the BBWAA.

Of the 32 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city, Howard, who turned 27 Sunday, was listed first on 20 and second on the other 12 for a total of 388 points, based on the tabulation system that rewards 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third and on down to one for 10th.

Howard led the majors in home runs (58), runs batted in (149) and total bases (393) while hitting .313 for the Phillies, who ran a distant second to the New York Mets in the NL East but remained in the wild-card hunt until the next to the last day of the season. Howard set a franchise record for home runs, topping Mike Schmidt's previous mark by 10, and matched Jimmie Foxx's total with the Athletics in 1932 for the most in one season by a Philadelphia player.

For the third time in the past five years, the runner-up was St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, who received the other 12 first-place votes, plus 19 for second and one for third to total 347 points. Pujols, who won the award last year, was a major candidate again this season having led the NL in batting with runners in scoring percentage (.397) and slugging (.671), finished second in home runs (49) and RBI (137) and third in batting (.331).

Pujols, who also finished second in 2002 and ’03, has never placed lower than fourth in MVP voting in his six seasons. He was fourth as a rookie in 2001 and third in 2004. The only players to have been MVP runners-up more often than Pujols were three-time NL winner Stan Musial and two-time American League winner Ted Williams, who were second four times each. Mickey Mantle, a three-time AL winner, was also second three times.

Only two other players were listed on all 32 ballots: Houston Astros first baseman-outfielder Lance Berkman (.319, 45 HR, 136 RBI), who finished third with 230 points, and Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran (.275, 38 2B, 41 HR, 116 RBI, 127 R), who was fourth with 211.

Rounding out the top 10 were Florida Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera (.339, 50 2B, 26 HR, 114 RBI, 112 R), Washington Nationals left fielder Alfonso Soriano (.277, 41 2B, 46 HR, 95 RBI, 119 R, 41 SB), Mets shortstop Jose Reyes (.300, 30 2B, 17 3B, 19 HR, 81 RBI, 122 R, 64 SB), Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (.309, 40 2B, 32 HR, 102 RBI, 131 R), Mets third baseman David Wright (.311, 40 2B, 26 HR, 116 RBI) and San Diego Padres relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman (0-2, 2.14 ERA, 46 SV). In all, 24 players gained mention.

Howard became only the second player to win an MVP Award the year after being elected Rookie of the Year. The other was the Baltimore Orioles' Cal Ripken, AL Rookie of the Year in 1982 and AL MVP in 1983. Two other AL players won both awards in the same season, Boston Red Sox center fielder Fred Lynn in 1975 and Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.

It marked the sixth time a Phillies player won the award and the first in 20 years since third baseman Mike Schmidt won his third MVP in 1986. Other Phillies winners were outfielder Chuck Klein in 1932 and reliever Jim Konstanty in 1950. Howard is the 19th player overall to win both Rookie of the Year and MVP Awards, joining Pujols, Jackie Robinson, Don Newcombe, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey, Pete Rose, Dick Allen, Johnny Bench, Andre Dawson and Jeff Bagwell in the NL and Ripken, Lynn, Suzuki, Rod Carew, Thurman Munson and Jose Canseco in the AL.

Howard was the 11th NL first baseman cited, a list that includes Pujols, Cepeda, McCovey, Bagwell, Frank McCormick, Dolph Camilli, Stan Musial, Steve Garvey, Keith Hernandez and Willie Stargell. Musial was an outfielder when he won his other two MVPs.

The vote:

Player Club 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies 20 12 388
Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals 12 19 1 347
Lance Berkman Houston Astros 21 4 3 2 1 1 230
Carlos Beltran New York Mets 1 5 15 6 2 2 1 211
Miguel Cabrera Florida Marlins 2 6 10 5 5 1 2 170
Alfonso Soriano Washington Nationals 1 2 4 6 1 7 2 1 106
Jose Reyes New York Mets 1 1 5 5 3 4 1 2 98
Chase Utley Philadelphia Phillies 1 6 7 10 1 1 98
David Wright New York Mets 1 1 2 2 5 2 3 1 70
Trevor Hoffman San Diego Padres 2 1 1 1 2 2 7 46
Andruw Jones Atlanta Braves 1 2 1 5 3 29
Carlos Delgado New York Mets 1 1 1 2 4 23
Nomar Garciaparra Los Angeles Dodgers 2 3 4 18
Rafael Furcal Los Angeles Dodgers 1 3 1 11
Garrett Atkins Colorado Rockies 1 1 2 10
Matt Holliday Colorado Rockies 1 2 3 10
Aramis Ramirez Chicago Cubs 1 1 5
Freddy Sanchez Pittsburgh Pirates 2 1 5
Chris Carpenter St. Louis Cardinals 1 4
Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves 1 3
Mike Cameron San Diego Padres 1 2
Jimmy Rollins Philadelphia Phillies 1 2
Bronson Arroyo Cincinnati Reds 1 1
Jason Bay Pittsburgh Pirates 1 1

Previous winners (*—Unanimous):
2004 ALBERT PUJOLS, St. Louis Cardinals; 2004 BARRY BONDS, San Francisco Giants; 2003 BARRY BONDS, San Francisco Giants; 2002 *BARRY BONDS, San Francisco Giants; 2001 BARRY BONDS, San Francisco Giants; 2000 JEFF KENT, San Francisco Giants; 1999 CHIPPER JONES, Atlanta Braves; 1998 SAMMY SOSA, Chicago Cubs; 1997 LARRY WALKER, Colorado Rockies; 1996 *KEN CAMINITI, San Diego Padres; 1995 BARRY LARKIN, Cincinanti Reds; 1994 *JEFF BAGWELL, Houston Astros; 1993 BARRY BONDS, San Francisco Giants; 1992 BARRY BONDS, Pittsburgh Pirates; 1991 TERRY PENDLETON, Atlanta Braves; 1990 BARRY BONDS, Pittsburgh Pirates; 1989 KEVIN MITCHELL, San Francisco Giants; 1988 KIRK GIBSON, Los Angeles Dodgers; 1987 ANDRE DAWSON, Chicago Cubs; 1986 MIKE SCHMIDT, Philadelphia Phillies; 1985 WILLIE McGEE, St. Louis Cardinals; 1984 RYNE SANDBERG, Chicago Cubs; 1983 DALE MURPHY, Atlanta Braves; 1982 DALE MURPHY, Atlanta Braves; 1981 MIKE SCHMIDT, Philadelphia Phillies; 1980 *MIKE SCHMIDT, Philadelphia Phillies; 1979 (Tie) KEITH HERNANDEZ, St. Louis Cardinals, and WILLIE STARGELL, Pittsburgh Pirates; 1978 DAVE PARKER, Pittsburgh Pirates; 1977 GEORGE FOSTER, Cincinnati Reds; 1976 JOE MORGAN, Cincinnati Reds; 1975 JOE MORGAN, Cincinnati Reds; 1974 STEVE GARVEY, Los Angeles Dodgers; 1973 PETE ROSE, Cincinnati Reds; 1972 JOHNNY BENCH, Cincinnati Reds; 1971 JOE TORRE, St. Louis Cardinals; 1970 JOHNNY BENCH, Cincinnati Reds; 1969 WILLIE McCOVEY, San Francisco Giants; 1968 BOB GIBSON, St. Louis Cardinals; 1967 *ORLANDO CEPEDA, St. Louis Cardinals; 1966 ROBERTO CLEMENTE, Pittsburgh Pirates; 1965 WILLIE MAYS, San Francisco Giants; 1964 KEN BOYER, St. Louis Cardinals; 1963 SANDY KOUFAX, Los Angeles Dodgers; 1962 MAURY WILLS, Los Angeles Dodgers; 1961 FRANK ROBINSON, Cincinnati Reds; 1960 DICK GROAT, Pittsburgh Pirates; 1959 ERNIE BANKS, Chicago Cubs; 1958 ERNIE BANKS, Chicago Cubs; 1957 HENRY AARON, Milwaukee Braves; 1956 DON NEWCOMBE, Brooklyn Dodgers; 1955 ROY CAMPANELLA, Brooklyn Dodgers; 1954 WILLIE MAYS, New York Giants; 1953 ROY CAMPANELLA, Brooklyn Dodgers; 1952 HANK SAUER, Chicago Cubs; 1951 ROY CAMPANELLA, Brooklyn Dodgers; 1950 JIM KONSTANTY, Philadelphia Phillies; 1949 JACKIE ROBINSON, Brooklyn Dodgers; 1948 STAN MUSIAL, St. Louis Cardinals; 1947 BOB ELLIOT, Boston Braves; 1946 STAN MUSIAL, St. Louis Cardinals; 1945 PHIL CAVARRETTA, Chicago Cubs; 1944 MARTY MARION, St. Louis Cardinals; 1943 STAN MUSIAL, St. Louis Cardinals; 1942 MORT COOPER, St. Louis Cardinals; 1941 DOLPH CAMILLI, Brooklyn Dodgers; 1940 FRANK McCORMICK, Cincinnati Reds; 1939 BUCKY WALTERS, Cincinnati Reds; 1938 ERNIE LOMBARDI, Cincinnati Reds; 1937 JOE MEDWICK, St. Louis Cardinals; 1936 CARL HUBBELL, New York Giants; 1935 GABBY HARTNETT, Chicago Cubs; 1934 DIZZY DEAN, St. Louis Cardinals; 1933 CARL HUBBELL, New York Giants; 1932 CHUCK KLEIN, Philadelphia Phillies; 1931 FRANKIE FRISCH, St. Louis Cardinals